What is a sex worker?
A sex worker is someone who provides sexual or sexual-related services in exchange for money, drugs, or other favors. “Sex worker” is a term that acknowledges the work part of jobs in the sex industry.
Sex Worker Facts
Myth: All sex workers are women
Fact: Although most sex workers are women, there are many male and transgender ones as well.
Myth: Sex workers can not be raped. If a sex worker is raped, beaten, or robbed it is not a crime.
Fact: Yes they can. Sex-working men, women, and transgender people have the same rights as everyone else. Rape, assault, and robbery are crimes no matter who the victim is. Source: HIPS Sex Worker Fact Sheet.
Helpful tips from NC sex workers, NCHRC, and our allies
For the body: Keep your pubic hair trimmed short, as it makes it easier to check for STIs and lice; Inspect your date’s sex parts for signs of STIs before sex; try and use body language that shows confidence and control; Stay focused and make sure your limits are clear; Pee often, this will decrease your chances of getting a urinary tract infection; Try not to brush your teeth or eat hard candies before a date, this can make sores in your mouth that infections can get into; Keep your mouth moist, drink a lot of water, especially if you are getting high, because drugs dehydrate you; Be in control! It is not safe to let a date tie you up, blindfold, or handcuff you. If your date wants to play like that you need to stay in control.
For your mind: Keep your work and personal life separate.
In the street: Use a buddy system. If you work alone, pretend you have a friend with you. When you get in the car call out the plate number to someone. Warn each other of violent dates or dates who do not pay. Make your jobs safer, work together, support each other, and keep others safe from RAPE, VIOLENCE, and DEATH. Try and stay alert, and try not to go to work really high or really drunk, this can be very dangerous.
For the ladies: Tight pants, nylon underwear, and stockings can cause yeast infections. Try cotton underwear, crotchless, or none at all. Try and wear shoes that you can run in or take off easily. Try and use tampons rather than pads, pads can cause infections.
Source: NCHRC, Sex Worker Interviews, and CAB Health
Condoms lower your risk of getting STIs, hepatitis, and HIV. It is a simple fact. One reason people give for not using condoms is that they did not have one when they needed it. Be smart, make sure you always have condoms and lube in your purse or pocket. If you don’t have a condom when you need one, you can go get one or you should try some sexual alternatives. Try mutual masturbation or boob sex to ease the mood till you can get one. If you have sex without a condom, pulling out before orgasm lowers the risk, but pulling out can still result in pregnancy and STI/HIV infection. There are a lot of reasons why people won’t use condoms: they are the wrong size, they are uncomfortable, and they kill the mood. None of these reasons are worth dying for.
Make sure you’ve told your associates who you are going with and where you are going. If a job seems strange, don’t go – it’s not worth the risk. And remember: always make your customer (or you) wear a condom. Please take the following into consideration while working:
- Always make sure your “Johns” wear a condom for sexual intercourse.
- Never negotiate on condoms or on price. If you’re female and need to, wear a female condom.
- When giving a rim job or “tossing salad” and giving oral sex, make sure to use a dental dam. Vanilla, coke, chocolate, and fruit-flavored dental dams make this activity tasty!
- Make sure to use a condom over your sex toys and wash them with soap and water after each use.
- Never use a customer’s drugs, use your own if you are going to use them. That way you can better avoid rape and violence. Talk to an NCHRC staff member, we can educate you about how to reduce the chance of overdosing or reduce the chances of harm while using substances.
- Do not wear clothes that will slow you down if you need to run and avoid wearing jewelry or scarves.
- Always get your money upfront. Set a price list and time limit and stick with it.
- Know where your exits are and keep your eye on them and always use a buddy system.
If you have experienced violence while doing sex work please report bad to the NC Bad Date Line. All reports will be anonymous. Please send details of the event to us so we can warn other sex workers about a dangerous customer. Please make sure to give a description of the person’s car, location, and the individual who hurt you. Help stop the violence.