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 sex workers are raped, beaten, or robbed it is not a crime.
Fact: Yes they can. Sex working men, women and trans- gender 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, it makes it easier to check for STI’s and lice; Inspect your date’s sex parts for signs of STI’s 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 hand- cuff 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, keep others safe from RAPE, VIOLENCE and DEATH. Try and stay alert, try not going 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 in. 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 dont have a condom when you need one, you can go get one or you should try some sexual alternatives. Try mutual masterbation or boob sex to ease the mood till you can get one. If you have sex with out a condom, pulling out before cuming lowers the risk, but pulling out can still result in pregnancy and STI/HIV infection. There are a lot of reasons why people wont use condoms: they are the wrong size, they are uncomfortable, 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 trick seems strange, don’t go – it’s not worth the risk. And remember: always make your trick (or you) wear a condom. Please take the the following in consideration when turning a trick:
- Always make sure your Johns wear a condom for sexual intercourse.
- If you think condom negotiation will be a problem, insert a female or reality condom before the sexual event. Call NCHRC if you need a demo.
- When rimming or eating out, 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.
- Don’t share drug using equipment, always use your own to avoid hepatitis and HIV.
- Never use the John’s drugs, use your own if you are going to use. That way you can better avoid rape and violence. Talk to a NCHRC staff member if you use drugs. NCHRC helps sex workers learn about how to do drugs safer to avoid drug overdose and dangerous scenes. NCHRC will provide you with non-judgemental services if you use drugs.
- Your clothes and accessories should be attractive, but most impor- tantly they need to be safe. Try not to wear clothes that will slow you down if you need to run.
- Always get your money up front. Try and set a price list and time limits and stick to them. Decide on a price and service outside of the car.
- Know where your exits are and keep your eye on them just in case.
If you have experienced violence while doing sex work please report bad dates/tricks 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 bad dates. Please make sure to give us a description of the person’s car, location and the individual who hurt you. Help us stop the violence.