Staying Safe

A lot of factors play into whether a sex worker will happily give you access to their body, and probably the smallest factor of them all is that you pay them.

It is easy when running our own adult industry business to forget to build ourselves a cushion. Most of us have had a background at some point in our lives working within the “muggle” world, a place which in hindsight I took very much for granted. Sick leave, family leave and holiday leave are all considered “part of the package” of the workforce… until you work for yourself. It’s easy to forget how important it is to set aside this money when you are responsible for its safekeeping, and it is even more difficult to do this when your industry may leave you living like a queen one week, followed by tins of spaghetti the next.

 

When you don’t have the luxury of an employer helping you to pay your bills, it can be extremely stressful to be ill. Paying bills within the adult industry generally involves double rents, double electricity bills, double water bills, double phone bills and all around double stress. This is the place that one worker found herself this last week when admitted to hospital, and it made us raise hell all the more because she was placed there by a client.

 

Within the last week alone, I have personally seen posts regarding violent attacks against sex workers in Brisbane twice; one of these workers landed in hospital for an extended period of time. I have heard of two other instances within the last month, within Brisbane, where a worker was harmed by a client. In our eyes, this is four times too many.

 

To all of the clients out there:

 

Just because you book us and hand over that envelope with payment, you DO NOT have the right to do whatever you want. It does not even give you the right to sex.

A lot of factors play into whether a sex worker will happily give you access to their body, and probably the smallest factor of them all is that you pay them.

Your attitude plays the largest part, and for good reason. If someone wants to see me and clearly lacks respect, the ability to take no for an answer, the ability to accept my price or generally acts an asshole, then it is a no from me. If someone can’t give me that respect from the beginning then how in the hell can I trust them to respect and take care of my body?

Often clients are aware of this process when requesting a booking… but this process actually continues from the second you send that first text to the second you walk out of the door after that booking. Even a bad vibe in the middle of a booking can mean bye bye. If you are sweet as pie in a text and a rude in the bedroom, we will kick you out. If you start to have sex with a worker and are too rough, it is entirely in her right to ask you to stop immediately and leave. You are not entitled to our bodies just because you paid… it is possible to rape a sex worker if you step outside of the bounds of her comfort zone or treat her like shit. In an industry where people have very intimate access to us, and in a world where there is a vast array of sexual appetites and fantasies, we have to be ruthless with this and ruthless with our boundaries in order to protect ourselves.

 

This issue is compounded by the gloriously vague and grey laws that are present in most states, intended to be able to be interpreted in a variety of ways and under a variety of circumstances. I have had clients in the past raise hell at any suggestion of a security guy, because there seems to be this myth that we are not allowed to hire someone. So let’s set this one straight with the clients – we are allowed to hire security staff, we are allowed to hire a driver. The problem is that a lot of workers do not work full time within this industry and so may not be able to afford to pay a professional to be their security guard for $50 an hour. That $50 might be the profit that allows them to make ends meet. The last month has highlighted to us just how important it is that these laws be changed. Decriminalisation is obviously what we fight for, in order to allow ourselves maximum protection within our workplace and maximum support, and there will be another meeting at Respect with the aim of lobbying this on the 13th. 

 

Unfortunately, these laws don’t look like they will change any time soon; however there are a lot of things that we as workers can do to make ourselves safer. The kicker is that we cannot talk about a lot of it, for fear that clients will become more the wiser and find methods to circumnavigate our safety precautions.

 

Initially I had a blog that included some very generic security tips for girls, and when some girls had concerns about the blog I private messaged it to them to read. The vast majority had no issues after the fact, but I did mention in a tweet that if even one person had an issue with what I had written, it would be separated. This is because I 100% recognize that in posting this blog, I am not just posting something that is related to my safety… it is related to all of our safety. So for the general public, here is where I leave this blog for you. If you are seeing a worker, the best thing you can do to help them is to concede to any and all requests she makes in regards to her safety. Make her feel safe and protected and respected, and if she says “no” or “stop” then listen to her.

 

To the girls…. The blog that initially started with 5 generic safety tips in order to protect us has turned into a 10 pointer with more specifics that I have available in a separate blog. You can find the blog here and it is password protected. If you would like access to it, please DM me via Twitter or Instagram or send me an email at Charlie@charlieforde.com.au and I will send you the details to access it.

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