By Annie Temple
Awhile ago, we circulated a survey to sex workers and clients asking what they really want to make their participation in the sex industry better…
We’ve been watching the results closely.
Some very obvious concerns and challenges have dominated your reactions.
Here are the results of the survey so far and how The *NEW* Naked Truth is going to address those concerns when we re-launch in the next few months.
I am incredibly excited to share this with you!
Without a doubt, five particular challenges have dominated the survey for sex workers, some of them fluctuating for first place as responses have come in.
The 5 Main Challenges identified by Sex Workers who answered this survey are:
- Screening Clients
- Finding A Safe, Discreet Workspace
- Advertising Costs
- Fear of Enforcement / Police
- Reporting Bad Experiences
How The Naked Truth is Going To Address SW Concerns
The Naked Truth is owned and operated by sex workers.
We have first-hand knowledge how the above challenges play out in our lives.
We are activists on the forefront of sex worker actions.
And we are tired of others making money off our backs, while being constantly turned down for funding.
Our years of activism, research, program creation / coordination / implementation, and our lived experience have led us to seek solutions to our challenges.
The Naked Truth (Revision 69, as I like to call it) will be the manifestation of our collective vision as a community.
It is based on the work we, as individuals and groups, have done over the past several years and the concerns you have shared.
What you are about to witness is history in the making!
We hope you will be a part of it!
Thanks to our amazing website designer…
- The *NEW* Naked Truth will offer you affordable advertising for your services and a profile to use in your promotions.
- The classifieds section will also allow sex workers and allies to share things like work-spaces for rent and SW friendly businesses.
- We will have an internal system for screening clients and opportunities for you to recommend and report clients using our system.
- We will also have an automated system for reporting bad experiences, with an easy search function, available only to sex workers.
- We will provide essential online training for sex workers earning members “certifications” that will let clients know we are safe and professional.
- We are already working with police and other outside agencies to recognize the certifications of our members.
- Our goal is to lower and potentially end the enforcement of Canada’s deadly laws around sex work.
This is the simplified version of what we are planning and we will send out more info very soon.
The 4 Main Resources Accessed or Sought by Sex Workers who answered this survey are:
- Sex Worker Organizations
- Sex Worker Support Groups (online, apps, etc)
- Adult Classifieds Websites
- Bad Date Lists / Red Light Alert
The *NEW* Naked Truth will be a central resource that encompasses the above “most accessed and sought” resources for sex workers.
- Our Partner Organization is the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities. Together, we are a resource for any Canadian sex worker to contact for support. We will do our best to connect SW’s with resources they need and offer unlimited guidance for anyone seeking membership or certification on our site.
- We will provide a safe forum for SW’s to have respectful discussions. Bullying will not be tolerated.
- Our Adult Classifieds will be the most affordable on the internet and we will provide opportunities for sex workers to get credits they can put towards ads, as well.
- We will have a secret Red Light Alert available only to sex workers who are certified or vouched for by someone who is certified.
Clients’ concerns were similarly obvious with an emphasis on 4 main areas:
- Concern for Safety: Clients worry about false ads, being scammed or even mugged when going to see a sex worker. They also worry the work space will be unsafe or unhealthy.
- Fear of Enforcement / Police: Clients worry that cops are posing as sex workers waiting to arrest them – a valid concern in some parts of Canada!
- Concern for Sex Workers: Clients worry about what they will find when they arrive – is the sex worker an adult working in an industry they chose – or trafficked and exploited?
- Fear of Being Outed: Clients have been outed by police in the past. If they are sent to “John School,” they will be outed to all the people who are there, and probably their families too.
How The Naked Truth is Going To Address Client Concerns
The *NEW* Naked Truth is implementing a simple screening system for sex workers and clients so that both may be vetted and verified internally and confidentially.
You will be able to see and choose people who have been “certified” in our community.
You will also have the option to recommend or report sex workers using our system.
Reports will be investigated by us reducing the need for outside agencies to be involved.
We are already working with police and other outside agencies to make them understand that our clients are not predators.
We hope to end enforcement of the current laws in Canada, while working to decriminalize our industry altogether.
You can report situations where you suspect human trafficking or other exploitation is going on, and we will make sure that information is investigated without outing you.
You can also report the police to us.
We want to know what police are doing and which ones are doing it.
We would like to talk to those police officers one-on-one and maybe teach them a thing or two about protecting sex workers.
We are here to support the clients we love.
We Asked You (Sex Workers and Clients) “What Is Your Dream Website”
You won’t be surprised to learn that your dream website is becoming a reality through The Naked Truth!
You listed things like:
- affordable advertising
- health info
- opportunities to contribute to our community
- third-party evaluation tools that AREN’T REVIEWS
- Red Light Alert
- secret area for sex workers only
- legal info
As you can see from everything I’ve told you, we are creating a masterpiece!
The best part is that we will constantly be evolving and improving the site based on your feedback.
We’re in this for the long haul.
We NEED your input and participation so we can make changes as we go.
And that leads me to HOW we are able to do all this.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
For years I have had a vision for The Naked Truth which I struggled to implement for many reasons…
…financial challenges, inability to get buy-in from other sex workers, dealing with lazy and incompetent web designers, and more.
For years, Susan Davis has had a vision for certification – a program for Sex Workers to legitimize our profession and give us leverage against blanket enforcements by police.
For years, Velvet Steele has been an advocate and activist for transsexual and transgender rights, within, and outside the sex worker community.
Susan and Velvet (and I to a lesser extent) have all worked with police over the years and have made inroads particularly with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).
Right now, the VPD have instituted a “non-enforcement policy” around sex work laws that has been adopted across the province of British Columbia.
In other words, they are not arresting sex workers or clients in BC for breaking sex-work-specific laws.
There are laws for every imaginable exploitation that can occur.
Sex work laws are not needed.
They are truly ridiculous and harmful.
And many police officers are realizing this thanks to our work with them and the work of many other sex workers around the country.
Susan, Velvet, and I are all members of the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities.
We have volunteered thousands of hours towards improving health and safety for sex workers through our work with the coalition.
We created the Trade Secrets Guide for Health and Safety in the Sex Industry.
We are all currently working sex workers who do activism in our spare time.
We have been turned down for funding too many times to count.
So now… We have taken matters into our own hands.
- We hired a web designer who is not lazy or incompetent!
- He knows what he is doing and he is also in it for the long haul with us!
- We are using our own money as well as our blood, sweat, and tears to create this incredible resource!
- And we are doing it with your help!
This is just the beginning…
We will be reaching out soon to ally organizations across Canada and we are already inviting sex workers to be involved in the Coalition’s “Development” project.
At this time, participation is voluntary and unpaid.
However… Once the site is generating money through the Adult Classifieds, we hope to fund Coalition projects and pay you for your feedback and participation!
If successful, we will also create jobs for sex workers like “Certification Support Workers,” “Site Moderators,” “Call Centre Representatives,” and more!
Our mission is:
- to provide sex-worker-driven, accessible resources, tools, and supports that prioritize health, safety, ethical business practices, and training for sex workers and our clients;
- and to promote a voluntary system of self-regulation in the Canadian sex industry.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about The *NEW* Naked Truth!
We hope you will find what you’re looking for when the site is launched and running.
(And if not, we hope you will tell us how to improve).
In the meantime…
The survey is still open! So, please feel free to tell us what you think!
Stay safe and make mad cash! XOXO
About the Author
Annie Temple has been a sex worker and activist since 1997, but she’s been a rebel all her life. In 2000, she founded NakedTruth.ca to support other entertainers by reducing isolation, educating about health and safety, sharing information about gigs, challenging stereotypes, teaching etiquette to customers, and organizing in-person events for charity and to promote ethical businesses in the industry.