Friday, August 23, 2019

What Sex Workers and Their Clients Really Want! (Survey Results)

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!


SEX WORKERS

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:


  1. Screening Clients
  2. Finding A Safe, Discreet Workspace
  3. Advertising Costs
  4. Fear of Enforcement / Police
  5. 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:

  1. Sex Worker Organizations
  2. Sex Worker Support Groups (online, apps, etc)
  3. Adult Classifieds Websites
  4. 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

Clients' concerns were similarly obvious with an emphasis on 4 main areas:


  1. 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.
  2. 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! 
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  • training
  • opportunities to contribute to our community
  • third-party evaluation tools that AREN'T REVIEWS
  • Red Light Alert
  • secret area for sex workers only
  • screening
  • support
  • 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. 






Friday, August 16, 2019

High Rise Voyeurs and Exhibitionists

By Velvet Steele

As we all know the central core of Vancouver is jam packed with high rise buildings to the point of being known as the most densely populated downtown in all of North America. 

It goes without saying that “things” get seen and “things” get done. The things I am talking about are sex, and lots of it! 

Downtown dwellers are doing it, from the ground floor and up, all the way to the penthouse, even the rooftop and that equates to a lot of window space. 

What I consider stages of the theatres in the sky of each and every building visible on the city skyline. 

Red hot stages displaying the actions of the adventurous who have chosen not to close fabulous window treatments in favour of a show for those glued to the other end of a pair of binoculars or telescopes. 

Exhibitionist sex is on full display each, and every day and night, with a playbill that just can’t be written.

Whether it’s an early morning erection or the need to rub one out over some projected porn from a laptop, folks just aren’t that concerned about concealing those activities from eager eyes in the adjacent buildings. 


It’s not a situation of “if you got it flaunt it” but more of a “I’m just to lazy to get up and close the curtains” situation. 

We all love the morning sun beating down on us first thing as you lay there, so can you really be blamed as you begin to beat the meat with furious abandon? Not really. 

Morning action is always good, hell it’s good anytime throughout the day, done with wildly exciting reckless abandon or something a little more planned.

It’s inevitable that as population density intensifies, we have no where else to grow but up if your urban, and grow out if your suburban. 


The urban landscape is getting higher and higher, and built closer and closer not only to meet the supply and demand of the ever growing population but make efficient use of the declining real estate. 

In an effort to give the illusion of space and view, developers and architects are working closely to create that illusion by increasing the size frame of windows being used. Sizes that let in as much light as possible, not to mention unobscured views for prying eyes.

If your like me, you like to walk about in your home void of the trappings of the street, I’m talking about clothes. 


I love to be nude at home, carefree just the way nature intended. 

At first I was very conscious of parading about to close to the window for fear of what the neighbours would think, but as time went on, to be honest I didn’t care what the neighbours thought. 

 It’s a proven fact that the closer we get to people by having our personal space intruded on, the less we care about what others think. 

Our personal space of three feet, translates to thirty feet of living space and each is being “invaded” more and more. 

A subconscious numbing is occurring and folks are becoming less inhibited about expressions of sexual freedoms with this increased closeness.

The amorous antics of those in high rises are not to be excluded. 


Less and less are those that are engaged in high rise folic caring about those who spy from afar, and that makes the spies very happy. 

Voyeurs figured this out long before the exhibitionists ever did, so as high rises grew, so did binocular sales. 

Free is always good, why pay for it when all you have to do is look out your window? 

Keep in mind quality control is not a guarantee, you never know what you’ll find on the other end of those looking glasses. 

We’ve all seen many a telescope positioned in front of the plate glass windows that line high-rise buildings in big cities, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t there for star gazing. 

Personally, I have no problem with the idea of seeing a telescope or pair of binoculars on the coffee table, after all, it is your view.

When heated passions rise, closing the curtains is that last thing on the minds of those getting down for some hot and bothered fun time. Most don’t make a mad dash round the place in prep for privacy for play, they just get to it. 


Ok, now lets consider this, is it an invasion of privacy if someone is watching and there is no effort put forth to having privacy? No! 

If you can't go through the very simple and basic act of putting up and using blinds, you can't expect any real privacy. 

People will look through your window, and unless it's your bathroom or bedroom, is it really that big of an invasion, anyway? 

Who is going to want to stare as you watch TV in your living room, or sit down to dinner? 

People will watch other people do just about anything, no matter how boring, and you need not look any further than the selection of “reality”shows jammed down our throats. Just saying!

Dressing up the performance for the uninhibited is now taking centre stage. 


People know they’re being watched and are going to great lengths to give that added extra many appreciative audiences desire. 

Action that’s happening centre stage, right up in front of those windows, by dressing it up, roleplaying the ever popular break and entry, or pizza delivery. 

If your lucky enough to find them, there are the internet postings offering the next performance so those in neighbouring high rises can gather with some wine and cheese for the 8PM showing.


Me? I don't really care if someone watches, cause that’s me, but if that’s not your gig you can just like TV, change the channel and turn to look at the night skyline.

You never know what you’ll see.

About the Author


Welcome to the multifaceted world of Velvet Steele, a woman with a transsexual medical history.

She takes pride in her 6’1” tall frame, fair skin and once naturally blonde hair; keeping up appearances by exercising daily and eating right.

Is she an exhibitionist? You betcha, with measurements that rival Jessica Rabbit’s at 36G, 30, 39, and all her hard work at the gym, she loves to show off, more than just a little.

She is a fetish service provider of 25 plus years, and known for her appearance on the wildly popular documentary series KINK filmed here in Vancouver.

She is an advocate and activist for transsexual and transgender rights, within, and outside the sex worker community.

She is a sensitivity facilitator, contracted with the CoV and VPD. She counsels on lifestyle, sex, sexuality and gender drawing on her lived experience.

She educates on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world of sex toys, and created the first Fetish Night in Vancouver which ran for 10 years.

Life as a fetishist and visual artist led her to activism on sex, sexuality, sexual health and subsequently sex worker rights.

She is currently nurturing her love of hosiery with a retail and blog site, at Girdleliscious Gam Wrappers. And she writes…….. a lot.

Fetish, fashion and sex, and a mantra of,

“Inspire Desire to Create, be a part of positive change!”

Lifestyle, Image, Inspiration.

Her website www.velvetsteele.com presents her current body of work to the public.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

How To Be A Great Client

Guest Post by Hallelujah Annie

Photo Credit: Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight
Some of you are already pros at being great clients!

In fact, you could teach a course on it, I'm sure.

You could probably even write a better article about it than I, since you'd be coming from the point of view of having visited multiple sex workers.

I am coming from the point of view of only one...ME.

However, I believe all professionals in my industry would agree with what I'm saying in this article.

If you love sex workers and truly appreciate what we have to offer, here is how you can show your appreciation!

I absolutely adore those of you who follow these courtesies. XOXO

1. READ MY WEBSITE

Please read my rates and services page before contacting me.

It tells you how to contact me (email; text) and how to introduce yourself (name, number, booking date).

It tells you what I charge, my hours, and my restrictions.

It tells you that I will send you a photo of my face if you send me one of yours first. ;)

Please don't ask me questions that you can find the answers to on my site.

If something is not on my site, ask away!

I prefer if you are very upfront about what you're looking for. I will tell you yes or no with zero judgement towards you.

My price is firm. Please do not haggle.

If you want to know why I charge "so much," then book an appointment with me and find out.

If I am out of your price range, I'm sure you'll find a provider who is. No hard feelings for either of us. 

Personally, I don't take phone calls - only text or email.

Most sex workers who do take phone calls will not accept calls from blocked or private numbers.

My absolute favourite clients almost always start out by sending me an short bio and a photo of their face.





2. SHOWER DIRECTLY BEFORE APPOINTMENT

This is key to a good experience.

I am a very horny woman but really bad breath and body odour are huge turn OFF's for me.

I provide shower facilities and mouthwash. Please use them!

Another way to avoid the bad breath thing is to breathe through your nose and / or direct your breathing away from my face.

(I do all of the above - brush my teeth, use mouthwash, nose breathing, and breathing away from your face.)

You're welcome. ;)

3. DO NOT MASTURBATE BEFORE OUR APPOINTMENT

I mean, honestly, it's up to you.

But personally, I like it if you can come while you're with me.

I'm not saying that I will be upset or disappointed if you don't come!

It happens and I'm not offended or upset in the least!

But if I have a choice of you coming before our appointment by yourself, or you coming during our appointment with me - I will choose CUM WITH ME every time!

If you want to orgasm earlier in the session, that is always an option too.

Communicate with me! 

My business is your pleasure!

4. DO NOT ARRIVE EARLY

I don't just sit around in my lingerie waiting for clients to arrive and then magically appear perfect and ready for the next one.

There is work to be done between appointments!

I always ensure that I have showered and cleaned myself well before every booking.

I also need to set up the massage area and heat my massage oil.

I like to put on a little perfume and make sure everything is tidy.

Get the music going...

As you can see, there is effort put into making your appointment as awesome as possible.

So, please do not arrive early.

If you're early, text me from your car and I will let you know when I am ready for you.

Wait in your car until that time.

Thanks so much!






5. BE DISCREET COMING AND GOING FROM MY LOCATION

One of the reasons I can't have you arriving early is because I cannot leave you hanging around outside my door until I'm ready.

In this business, I have to be discreet.

I do not want my neighbours or landlord complaining about you.

I especially don't want you drawing attention to my visitors.

This is my livelihood. Please respect my workspace and be discreet when coming and going.

6. PAY UP FRONT

Please pay the agreed upon amount before we begin.

Let's get that out of the way and have some fun!

I prefer cash but will do e-transfer occasionally.

Just ask!

7. RESPECT BOUNDARIES

We'll both have a much better time if you respect my boundaries.

It is my job to also respect yours.

Please be very clear with me about things you do not like or do not want me to do.

I will never be offended, only grateful that you communicated with me.

My boundaries take two things into consideration:

a) How can we do this in a fun but safe way?
b) How can we do this in a way that maximizes both our arousal?

I realize that you are the paying customer and I am the service provider, but I guarantee you'll have more fun if I'm having fun too.

If you cross a boundary without my invitation, things will get awkward and uncomfortable.

So, let's have some wickedly awesome naked fun without wrecking it by crossing each other's boundaries.

8. LUBE-ALICIOUS

I make a big effort to be clean and pretty "down there" for you.

I take care of my parts very well realizing that my body is not just a source of income for me but also a source of great pleasure.

However, when my parts have been abused by too much friction or pressure in those delicate areas - it threatens both my income and my pleasure.




I'm also at an age in my life where a little extra lube goes a long way.

So, please, when stimulating my pussy, use the coconut oil I provide.

Make sure I'm super slippery and that your touch is not too rough.

I will ask you to be gentle if you're applying too much pressure or friction.

I understand that we can both get caught up in the moment.

Definitely let me know if I need to be more gentle or switch it up too!

9. LEAVE WHEN IT'S TIME TO GO

I really don't want to have to kick you out!

But I have other clients and things to do before they arrive.

I also have a family, so sometimes I have to go right after a booking to take my kids to their activities or make dinner or what have you.

It's nothing personal against you. I just have a very tight (pussy)... I mean, schedule. ;)

10. SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION WITH A TIP

This is not a request for tips!

Honestly, I do not expect tips and my impression of you is not based on whether or not you tip.

However, many clients ask me what kinds of gifts I may like to receive.

I am not a materialistic woman.

I have everything I need, really!

But I also have kids, bills to pay, groceries to buy, and the overhead for my business is quite high too.

If you really want to show me some extra appreciation, I would be most grateful for a tip.

Any amount is great! (Even $5 is appreciated!)

But again, tips are not expected.

I will love you whether you tip or not, as long as you are clean, you don't smell bad, and you are kind and respectful to me. XOXO

For more information about being a great client and more...check out this link: Trade Secrets for Our Clients



About the Author

Hallelujah Annie is a mature, former exotic dancer who provides discreet, professional sensual massage services in her own space in White Rock, BC. She also writes sexual fantasies for her fans on her blog at www.HallelujahAnnie.com

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Survey for Sex Workers and Clients

Hey Folks!

As some of you know, The Naked Truth is very soon going to go through a major transformation.

We have always been by and for sex industry workers, and that will never change.

But other big changes are coming!

Before we build and unveil the NEW TNT, we want to ask you a few questions

There are only three questions each for sex industry workers and clients.

It will take you no time at all and your advice is priceless!

Please take five minutes or less to share your knowledge with us.

Thank you so much!

We will share the results and how they will impact the new site in a few weeks. xo

Love Annie Temple
annie@nakedtruth.ca


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P7CGKNQ



Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sex Outdoors

By Velvet Steele

Not too long ago I found myself answering a question that was asked of me after a shift at the lounge I used to work at. 


Playing the game, “question and answer"  similar to the game “truth or dare” I was asked if I had ever had sex outdoors? 

“No!”, was my quick answer producing gasps of shock and amazement. 

NO! I had never ventured into the local shrubbery up to that point, and even I, found myself shocked by that. 

Sitting in that room full of folks telling stories of their escapades into the underbrush of the local park’s fauna and flora for a secret rendezvous, it was soon becoming clear, this is an activity that quite literally occurs on a regular basis. ALL YEAR LONG! 

I found myself soon wondering what was it they all knew that I didn’t? Clearly they were indulging on a regular basis and I wasn’t!

Okay, so sex outdoors is not just relegated to a park, it seems that from the round table discussion we were having, folks were getting it on in numerous places outside of the home. 


I wasn’t feeling so bad now, cause that would mean my car park adventures would now account for something judging by the new definitions set out. 

There were stories of trysts in the car, under a bridge, on the bus, train, plane, even the alleyways of Vancouver's notorious West End- outdoor activities fueled by hormones running amok, not worried about getting a grass stained ass or knees!

Long walks deep into the trails of the dark parks are frequented by the horny of all kinds. 


It doesn't take long for a trail in a new park to develop a reputation as being the latest and greatest cruising area for those looking for anonymous frolic. 

Parks have long been the gathering space for many, and this is not a new phenomenon as of this century, but one that has been enjoyed for eons by both gay and straight. 

Keep in mind the trails and pathways develop reputations that cater to those seeking specific interests, it’s not a free for all. 

However that's not to say there isn't crossover amongst the interest groups, why even the kinky are diving into the bush for a little slap and tickle.

Those on the hunt go prepared, they know when to go, where to go, and what to take with them. 


They even know the subtle art of the cruise; the casual glance back at the person that just passed you to see if they are looking back at you, liking what they saw, or the direct eye contact accompanied with quick darting glances off into the bush as if to follow. 

Before heading off into the bush you may want to go prepared, a simple leaf or used panties to wipe up just won't do. You’ll need to take along some lubricant, wipe ups and recommended protection. 

Don’t forget your cleanup, and more importantly to clean up after yourself. Lets keep our parks clean of garbage. 

How do I know? Let's just say there were times I was a little more conspicuous when leaving the park with the evidence on my clothes and tangled into my hair.

If a little park debris is not your thing intermingled with your clothes and hair, why not take the car? There are lots of spots under the stars to park it and crotch gaze. 


Evening drives along the roadways of the parks are so calming and relaxing that one can’t help but feel amorous. 

Although darkened skies seem to the the precursor for vehicle action, daylight activities do occur. 

Most prefer the night time atmosphere over the daylight, since parked cars and SUVs bouncing merrily along generally attract a bit of attention. 

There are those that drive solo looking for action from those on foot, slowing down with the window rolled down to ask a few details and give those on foot the opportunity to look in and see the goods. 

The goods, that is if they are on display, even I’ve seen a few rubber catsuits and crossed dressed sluts driving that big ol' muscle car. Like I say, whatever floats your boat, I don't judge!

We’re no idiots! It doesn't take an expert to know what's going on when you see the windows on of the car parked up ahead so fogged over there are rivulets running down the glass. 


Accompany that with the squeaking sound made from the vigorous rocking motion of the workout within going on within and your safe to assume something is up! 

Remember the “shaggin wagon” with the slogan “don't come a knocking if this van is a rockin?” Don’t! You may not like the response you get from the intrusion.

A word of advice here as well? Pick your spot wisely and remind yourself that although you are in a car or vehicle of some kind you still don’t have the trees, leaves and brush to shield you from passersby, your a still much more public. 


Discretion needs to be assured, parks are billed as “family” places for outings, you wouldn’t want to be caught by a family now would you or worse yet getting a ticket?

Oh and don’t forget to pay for parking, it's hourly, and required in all parks here in Vancouver!

Safety first; even when you think you may be going off trail for an actual hike you may not be alone, there may be someone following you with thoughts other than the simple trek through the woods. 


On a serious note and as exhilarating as it can be, I cannot stress the safety factor, you need to be aware and beware of your surrounding and who is around. 

The simple sexual tryst you were hoping for could turn out to be something very dangerous and for those that pay attention to the news, you’ll know what I'm talking about.

So get on those hiking boots and go for a walk you never know what you'll find growing in the deep, dark, forests of the city’s parks.



 

About the Author

Welcome to the multifaceted world of Velvet Steele, a woman with a transsexual medical history. 

She takes pride in her 6’1” tall frame, fair skin and once naturally blonde hair; keeping up appearances by exercising daily and eating right. 

Is she an exhibitionist? You betcha, with measurements that rival Jessica Rabbit’s at 36G, 30, 39, and all her hard work at the gym, she loves to show off, more than just a little.

She is a fetish service provider of 25 plus years, and known for her appearance on the wildly popular documentary series KINK filmed here in Vancouver. 


She is an advocate and activist for transsexual and transgender rights, within, and outside the sex worker community. 

She is a sensitivity facilitator, contracted with the CoV and VPD. She counsels on lifestyle, sex, sexuality and gender drawing on her lived experience. 

She educates on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the world of sex toys, and created the first Fetish Night in Vancouver which ran for 10 years. 

Life as a fetishist and visual artist led her to activism on sex, sexuality, sexual health and subsequently sex worker rights.

She is currently nurturing her love of hosiery with a retail and blog site, at Girdleliscious Gam Wrappers. And she writes…….. a lot.

Fetish, fashion and sex, and a mantra of,

“Inspire Desire to Create, be a part of positive change!”

Lifestyle, Image, Inspiration.

Her website www.velvetsteele.com presents her current body of work to the public.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

No Murders of Sex Workers in Vancouver for a Decade Under Decriminalization

By Susan Davis

VANCOUVER, BC: Vancouver has seen it's share of violence against sex workers. 

The Case of the Missing Women and it's horrific details put a spotlight on how NIMBYism and lack of concern for the lives and safety of Vancouver sex workers lead ultimately to their torture and murder.

Contributing factors identified through the Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry, the City of Vancouver Task Force and a city wide project known as “Living in Community” showed that there were many actions which could have prevented the disaster and that could prevent it from happening again.

Recent revelations about yet another unfolding disaster in rural communities in British Columbia and murders of sex workers in places where enforcement is high, have reminded us all how enforcement, uninformed actions and stigma can isolate sex workers and make them vulnerable to violence.

In Vancouver, all citizens were impacted by the terrible outcome of targeted enforcement and lack of understanding issues facing sex workers.

No matter a persons perspective on sex work, everyone agrees that the violence and vulnerability caused by the actions of the past are unacceptable.

A culture of change was created by the tragedy and indeed remains the legacy of the women who died.

Increasing understanding of the mistakes of the past and the violent impacts of taking action based on moral or ideological assumptions about sex workers and their lives has changed the way sex work is viewed and monitored in Vancouver.

The Vancouver Police created a “Sex Work Enforcement Guidelines” Policy http://vancouver.ca/police/assets/pdf/reports-policies/sex-enforcement-guidelines.pdf and clearly stated that adult consensual sex work would no longer be a priority.

Instead of blanket targeted actions against all sex industry participants, exploitation would be their only focus and of course investigating crimes against sex workers.

Training about the policy has ensured that police officers know and understand the position of the VPD and what is expected of them in terms of fair and unbiased treatment of sex workers during interactions with police.

The VPD also strengthened the Sex Industry Liaison Officer position, currently held by Linda Malcolm. Linda's role has been critical to increasing the trust between sex workers and police in Vancouver.

She has consistently made herself available when sex workers are in need of help and provides a non judgmental link to the police and reporting those who commit crimes against us.

The City of Vancouver also adopted a policy of non enforcement through their “Sex Work Response Guidelines” http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/sex-work-response-guidelines.pdf which states explicitly that sex work is not a by-law violation.

Training for licensing and inspections staff has ensured that staff understand the spirit of protection in the policy and what is expected of city staff should they have cause to interact with a sex industry worker or businesses.

The net result of all of these things which includes a lot more than described here, has been defacto decriminalization of sex work in the City of Vancouver.

Even before the policies were made official, steps were being taken to change the culture of policing and enforcement against the sex industry in Vancouver. 

Criminalization of sex work has been the largest contributing factor to violence faced by sex workers and needed to change.

“How is it working?” you might ask....

We are happy to report that these actions have made a prolific difference and that not only are crimes against sex workers being reported more often and true exploitation being countered with several exploiters being investigated and prosecuted successfully but that.....

There have been no murders of sex workers as a result of their work in Vancouver since 2009.

We would like to congratulate the Vancouver Police and City of Vancouver Staff for having courage in the face of opposition to these actions from those who feel the sex industry could never be safe and who for moral or ideological reasons promote the “abolition” of the sex trade.

This past decade has proven without a doubt that decriminalization of sex work does make sex workers safer and is truly the only solution to ending exploitation and violence in the sex industry.

As the federal Liberal and NDP parties debate whether to support decriminalization of sex work, it is our hope that Vancouver can be held up as an example of how communities can address these issues in a way which respects all people's rights and safety.

Vancouver is success of decriminalization in a Canadian context. Both sex workers and communities are safer now.

It seems that other police services are also paying attention as the VPD style of "lowest level of enforcement" has been adopted across the entire BC Region by 45 Police services and the E- Division of the RCMP.

It is becoming clear to everyone that there is only one path forward to achieve safety for sex working people.

It is time for reason to prevail. 

It is time to decriminalize sex work in Canada. 

(Please contact us if you are a sex worker or client in BC who is experiencing police harassment under the current Federal Legislation against the newly adopted province-wide guidelines.)

About the Author 

Susan is a 32 year sex working veteran and 16 years sex workers rights advocate. She has worked with government and police towards safer communities for sex working people. 

She has appeared in the media over 400 times and has given evidence or testified to 2 Supreme Court cases, the Commission of Inquiry on missing and murdered women, the City of Vancouver Task Force and the Parliamentary Sub Committee on prostitution.

She continues to work towards safety and equality for sex workers in Canada via complaints to the office of the commissioner of lobbyists and has submitted many briefs to government committees working on these issues.

As an extension of her “flesh trade work," Susan also owns a small meat market with her partner in Vancouver where she continues to work as a sex worker upstairs where she lives.

Calabria Meat Market has been a 7 year passion for Susan and she enjoys supporting small local growers and promoting sustainable food security.


susan.1968@hotmail.com   604-671-2345
 

Monday, June 24, 2019

TNT Update and Guest Post by Hallelujah Annie!

Exciting changes are coming to The Naked Truth!

I can't tell you anything yet, but suffice it to say that you'll definitely be as excited I am!

Please stay engaged and see what  happens over the course of the next  year.

In the meantime, expect a lot more coming out of our blog.

We hope to get between two and four articles out to you each month including updates on what I'm calling TNT Revision #69.

This week, we're bringing to you a neat little piece by Hallelujah Annie telling newbie clients what to expect their first time with a sex worker.

It is also a great refresher for those of you who are old hats at supporting your local SW's!

We love you all and look forward to being a bigger part of your life!

Love Annie Temple and the TNT Crew!



Ask Annie: Your First Time With A Sex Worker?



Guest Post by Hallelujah Annie

I have to say that I am one lucky woman.

I have the honour of being the first sensual massage goddess some of my clients have ever seen.

As you can imagine, many are nervous their first time coming to an appointment.

I would like to set your misgivings at ease.

Newbies...this post is for  you!

And for the rest of you, consider this a refresher! XOXOXO

What to Expect

I can't speak for all sex workers but when you arrive for your sensual massage at my studio, I will buzz you in the front door and you will walk up some stairs to get to my door.

I will welcome you in, ask you to take your shoes off at the door, and show you where the massage will take place.
 

If you haven't already offered, I will ask you to place your donation on the dresser.

Then I will ask you to go to the bathroom and wash your hands really well. (Money is very dirty.)

I will also wash my hands well after handling the donation. xxoxo

If you are coming from work or you haven't showered directly before coming, you may use my shower facilities. :)

Next, you will undress and lie face-down, naked on the bed.

For the first half of the session, I will focus on your back, the backs of your legs and arms, and get you all relaxed and oily.

The second half of the session you will lie on your back.

I will continue to massage you from the front with a happy ending occurring about 15 minutes before the session is over.

This allows you to relax for a few moments while I pamper you with calming caresses and hugs (if you so desire).


Alternatively, you will have enough time to shower before leaving, if you'd like.

At any time during our session, you may tell me your preferences and as long as you are respectful, gentle, and polite, I will do my best.

If at any time you are uncomfortable for any reason, please tell me.

I am non-judgmental and I truly want your experience to be as good as it can be without crossing my personal boundaries.


Cleanliness

Your main job before you arrive or when you arrive is to ensure that you are squeaky clean.

Please don't show up with toilet paper stuck in the crack of your ass.

That tells me you have not showered since your last bowel movement.

The smell of ass wafting up during your massage is not the best way to get me in the mood. ;) 

If you haven't showered directly before coming to see me, please make use of my shower.

I provide shampoo/conditioner, body wash, and fresh, clean towels.

I also provide mouthwash.  


How I Feel About My Clients

I have found that some of you, your first time, are worried about whether I find you attractive or not.

You worry about your body hair or the size of your cock.

Or maybe you worry about whether I consider you "too skinny" or "too chubby."

I can assure you, from the bottom of my heart, your appearance is not important to me at all.

Things I actually care about...

  • Cleanliness
  • Odour
  • How you speak to me (respectfully please)
  • How you touch me (gently please)
  • Whether you're enjoying your massage or not
  • Your likes and dislikes in a sensual massage
  • Whether you are feeling comfortable and relaxed or not
  • How I can ensure you walk out feeling amazing



You see, I am a business woman. 

And YOU are my customer.

You are hiring me to pamper you and make you feel wonderful.

Some of the most pleasurable experiences I've had were with men much, much older than me.

You don't have to be a male model to turn me on.

No matter what you look like... 
 
I will adore you if you are kind, caring, and clean.

More Resources...

Punting for Dummies (Twitter)
Gosh, I love this man! He gives great advice for being a client of sex workers. Follow him if you can!

Trade Secrets: For Our Clients
This resource is a priceless asset for sex workers and clients. Almost everything a sex worker could want you to know is at this link. Please check it out. xoxo

The last thing I want to tell you all is that I have a sexy surprise cumming to my subscribers very soon! 

I want to thank you for subscribing to my feed with a VERY NAUGHTY photo!

Be sure to subscribe if  you haven't yet! It's free!

In the meantime... It's a business doing pleasure with you. XXX


About the Author

Hallelujah Annie is a mature, former exotic dancer who provides discreet, professional sensual massage services in her own space in White Rock, BC. She also writes sexual fantasies for her fans on her blog at www.HallelujahAnnie.com

Monday, February 25, 2019

Sex worker rights groups mark Canada’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day with scathing response to Justice Committee Report: Warns of harms to sex workers

Press Release from the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform

February 22, 2019– To mark February 22nd, Canada’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day, sex worker rights groups across the country are highlighting the harms of anti-human trafficking efforts in response to the report from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights released December 2018, Moving Forward in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Canada. 

The final recommendations from the Committee’s report ignore the evidence provided by sex worker rights groups on the harmful impacts of anti-human trafficking efforts and fail to recognize sex workers as the primary targets of anti-human trafficking initiatives, and therefore as important stakeholders in Canada’s human trafficking response.

While the Committee explicitly states that it “does not take any position regarding the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution or the relationship between the sex industry and human trafficking as this is beyond the scope of this study,” their failure to concretely distinguish between sex work and human trafficking and to position itself on the human rights of sex workers has resulted in a series of recommendations that will lead to human rights violations against sex workers.

Throughout the consultation and across the country, sex worker rights groups and our allies provided clear, consistent data and submissions that demonstrated how anti-human trafficking discourse, policy and policing has caused — and continues to cause — human rights violations against people working in the sex industry.

Sex worker rights groups were also clear to distinguish human trafficking from sex work not only in practice and in the language used to accurately reflect people’s experiences, but in policy recommendations as well.

When sex work is conflated with human trafficking, sex workers and the people they work with are indiscriminately targeted for surveillance and investigation.

Sex workers experience this over-policing as antagonistic and as a result often do not report to or seek out law enforcement if they need to.

Sex workers may experience many types of violence and exploitation, but whether or not this is related to trafficking, none are adequately addressed through current policy and practice.

Sex work-specific criminal and immigration prohibitions are barriers to meaningfully addressing human trafficking.

While sex work and human trafficking are profoundly different, they are conflated in legislation, policy and practice.

Addressing human trafficking thus requires a review of both criminal and immigration laws and the ways in which human trafficking laws are currently being enforced in a way that threatens sex workers’ safety, security and agency.

See our full response and recommendations for a human rights-based approach to human trafficking at: http://sexworklawreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/CASWLR-Human-Trafficking-Response.pdf
Contact our email for further comment: contact@sexworklawreform.com

Monday, January 28, 2019

Introducing Classic Classifieds - Canada’s first and only adult oriented classified ads website


Introducing Classic Classifieds...

Canada’s first and only adult oriented classified ads website.

Category content includes a marketplace to buy, sell, and trade items, property rental listings, restaurants, entertainment and events listings, services as well as the personal aspect connecting adults.

Our goal is to shift the stigmas surrounding the word adult, evolving it to a higher level of social acceptance.

Launch: 

Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex show Feb 8-10 at the Vancouver convention center where the CC team will answer questions and demo the site.

To celebrate CC’s launch, entertainment will be provided by Dj Jenny Jones Feb 8, Dj

MYNXY Feb 9, and Dj AWood Feb 10.

Classic Classifieds will also host a raffle for prizes:

•    1st 65” Samsung 4K smart TV

•    2nd original canvas print featuring DJ MYNXY by Moe Sherwood

•    3rd Photoshoot session with Bruce Dyer.


Drawing for Raffle Prizes: Feb 23 midnight (at the official launch Party)

Official Launch Party: 

False Creek Yacht Club Feb 23. Entertainment provided by Dj Leanne, Dj Patrick Kelly, Dj Fastmolly, Dj Dezyman, along with a Burlesque performance by Chastity Twist.

For more information, press only:

info@classicclassifieds.ca

For more information on Classic Classifieds:

www.classicclassifieds.ca












Please share widely!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes (1981-1987)

By Andy Sorfleet

The 1970s: Dawn of a Modern Movement


In 1977 a Toronto stripper, Margaret Spore (also known as Baba Yaga) founded “Better End All Vicious Erotic Repression” (BEAVER), inspired by San Francisco's “Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics” (COYOTE), founded in 1973. BEAVER membership was mainly strippers and getting prostitutes to join proved difficult. Nonetheless, BEAVER brought sex workers' rights perspectives to the public for the first time in Canada.

COYOTE founder, Margo St. James, speaking at Wages for Housework
protest against violence against women, San Francisco, May 9, 1977.

On February 7, 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Hutt v. The Queen, that in order for conviction of soliciting in a public place, the soliciting must be “pressing and persistent.” The case involved a Vancouver police officer in plain clothes, driving an unmarked vehicle.

Even if the word "solicit" were given the widest possible definition, there was, until the time the automobile door was closed, no demonstration that the intention of the appellant was to make herself available for prostitution. It would be ridiculous and abhorrent to say that every female pedestrian who requests a free ride in an automobile is soliciting.
“Prostitute Bill causes controversy in
Canada” ~ India Today, April 30, 1979
Whether or not a car was a public or private place was not before the court, and so they ruled as if a car was a public place. In the end, Debra Hutt was acquitted on the dictionary definition of “soliciting” — “to accost” or “to confront,” “to importune”:

The appellant did not enter the officer’s car uninvited. The officer returned her smile and he admitted … the reason he immediately returned the smile was to encourage her to solicit him. The appellant’s conversation with the officer demonstrated nothing more than that she was available for prostitution. There was nothing pressing or persistent as was required.

Eager to build alliances, BEAVER joined with some sympathetic feminist lawyers. The lawyers were offended by the name BEAVER, however. In late 1979, BEAVER became the Coalition Against Street Harassment (CASH). CASH brought the public’s attention to the violence prostitutes faced on the street because of hostile laws and attitudes.

The 1980s: Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes


1981

Following the Hutt decision, which made the soliciting law unenforceable, controversy over street prostitution escalated. Street prostitution flourished in Vancouver's West End, and the city was called the "Prostitution Capital of North America" in the media. There were reports of sex workers and pimps coming up from the U.S. Citizen groups started taking things into their own hands. Local West End resident, Gordon Price founded "Concerned Residents of the West End" (CROWE).

Canada's earliest prostitutes' rights group—at least in modern times—was perhaps, Vancouver's Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes (ASP). Sometime in early 1981, local prostitute activist (and mom of two) Sally deQuadros approached Vancouver Rape Relief seeking to educate them about violence against sex workers and find ways to work together to end it. Vancouver Rape Relief was a socialist feminist collective in the early rape-crisis-centre movement founded in 1973. The Rape Relief collective and Sally agreed to form an alliance and Sally joined the collective. A small committee of three people was struck that would become the Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes. This committee would work to educate the feminist collective as a whole on the issue of prostitution.

In response to pressure from CROWE, the City of Vancouver adopted a West End Traffic Plan in August 1981 and began installing concrete traffic diversions and additional street lighting to impede the flow of sex-trade customers. In October of 1981, CROWE organized a day-long conference at the West End Community Centre attended by social planners, police and politicians to address the "prostitution problem." The Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes made their first public appearance at the community conference.

In December 1981, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled (in two Vancouver cases R. v. Whitter and R. v. Galjot) that not only does soliciting mean “pressing and persistent” (Hutt v. The Queen) but, that “pressing and persistent” refers to the practice of repeatedly soliciting the same person.

As a result of this ruling, police forces in major cities stopped enforcing the soliciting law altogether, claiming that their hands had been tied by the Supreme Court. Police, using a community-policing model, advised citizens to form residents’ associations for the purpose of reporting neighbourhood crime which could then be used to pressure politicians and governments to address the street crimes and nuisance associated with street prostitution. Calgary City Council was the first to enact an anti-loitering bylaw to use to target street prostitutes.

1982

By early 1982, Montréal, Niagara Falls and Halifax had followed Calgary's lead, with their own municipal loitering bylaws to address these residents groups' complaints. In April that year, Vancouver City Council passed the "street activities" bylaw that imposed fines from $350 to $2,000 for purchasing, attempting to purchase, selling or attempting to sell, sex. The city collected $28,000 in fines in the first six months.

Sally learned that Margo St. James (founder of COYOTE) was visiting family in nearby Bellingham, Washington. The nascent committee (Sally, Lee and Eileen) drove across the border to meet Margo, and also to meet filmmakers Janis Cole and Holly Dale who were doing research for a film on prostitution in major cities throughout Canada and the United States. (Janis Cole and Holly Dale released their film, "Hookers on Davie" on April 5, 1984.) Margo encouraged Sally to stick with the feminists. The committee's membership was subsequently changed by the collective, and Sally was instead joined by Joni Miller, and Marie Arrington who felt that Margo's tactics glamorized prostitution.

Margo St. James, COYOTE founder.
September 10 1980. Photo: Chronicle/John O'Hara
Sex workers together with lawyers challenged City of Vancouver's anti-prostitution bylaw as unconstitutional. In September 1982, B.C. provincial court judge David Moffett upheld the Vancouver bylaw and cited Alberta's Appeal Court earlier ruling on Calgary's bylaw:
"The buying and selling of a prostitute's services on the streets of Vancouver has been prohibited by an elected body in our democratic society for the sole purpose of remedying a nuisance 'the need to protect citizens who use the streets from the irritation and embarrassment of being unwilling participants in the [sex] market.'"

1983

By 1983, Sally and Marie were going out on street patrol to meet local Vancouver women and began distributing Canada's first "bad trick sheet"—a list of descriptions of assailants and of their cars—which they published in their newsletter called "Whoreganizer." ASP held weekly meetings and encouraged safety measures such as a using buddy system and recording licence plate numbers. With up to 150 prostitutes working in the area at any time, membership in ASP swelled. Working collectively, sex workers remained independent and managed to maintain a "pimp-free" zone.

In January 1983, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled (Westindorp  v. The Queen) that City of Calgary By-Law 9022 was unconstitutional:
The by-law is ultra vires as invading the exclusive federal power in relation to the criminal law. …To remain on a street for the purpose of prostitution or to approach another for that purpose was so patently an attempt to control or punish prostitution as to be beyond question.
 This made any such municipal bylaws—including Vancouver's—all illegal.

Hookers on Davie

Filmmakers Janice Cole and Holly Dale came to Vancouver and worked closely with ASP. After spending two months on Davie Street talking with sex workers, the filmmakers were able to gain their trust and confidence. Sex workers agreed to wear radio microphones and were filmed by a hidden camera in a parked van, while they worked the corner, and openly negotiated with clients. They also spoke candidly about their experiences during breaks at a local restaurant.

CROWE submitted a request for the federal government to amend the Criminal Code. The police claimed they needed the changes to deal with the concentration of street prostitutes in the area. Price, a gay resident of the West End and a spokesperson for CROWE, told Vancouver's gay magazine Angles that:
Street prostitution is incompatible with a residential street. It causes disturbances, restricts people's right to use the street and attracts violence. The social fabric of the neighbourhood is displaced; banks redline the area in terms of potential loans and mortgages.
On April 20, 1983, members of ASP marched along Broadway Street and up to Vancouver City Hall to protest CROWE's request for a new soliciting law. ASP member, Michelle carried a sign which said, "Harcourt is our pimp" (referring to the city's fines, Mike Harcourt was Vancouver's mayor) and made a speech. They handed out leaflets and chanted "Hookers unite! Fight for your rights." (You can view footage of the protest at https://vimeo.com/261959813.)

Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes on Broadway, April 20, 1983.
Film still from Hookers On Davie, by Janis Cole and Holly Dale.

Neighbourhood Residents Incite National Controversy

More anti-prostitution residents' groups came out in support of the Criminal Code amendment including Allied Concerned Residents On Street Solicitation (ACROSS). In June 1983, Vancouverite Barbara Brett of ACROSS told a public meeting on prostitution in Toronto that the prostitutes had been using commercial streets in Vancouver but that a police crackdown drove them into the residential areas. The effect of police actions has been to drive the prostitutes onto the streets.

First Protest, Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes
April 20, 1983. Photo: Macneill, Vancouver Sun
On June 23, 1983, Ottawa Deputy Police Chief Thomas Flanigan, chairman of the law amendments committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), told the Globe and Mail that, without removal or alteration of the “pressing and persistent” restrictions, “our hands are still tied in enforcing the law.” According to Metro Toronto Police Chief Jack Ackroyd: "The CACP have been asking the government since 1978 to do something about a law that is almost, virtually unenforceable.”

The prostitution debate drew a lot of controversy in Parliament. In an attempt to move the debate out of the House of Commons, Liberal Justice Minister Mark MacGuigan appointed a seven-member Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution to tour the country to determine if a consensus could be reached on prostitution law reform. The committee sought public views on three options—criminalization, legalization or decriminalization. Called the "Fraser Commission," the committee was chaired by lawyer, Paul Fraser. ASP prepared a report for the Fraser Commission (submitted January 1984). To quote the Alliance's brief: "We're not criminals, we're poor women trying to earn a living."

Sent by the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, Marie went to a conference at the Northwest Centre Against Sexual Assault—a U.S. network of rape-crisis centres. There Marie met Kathleen Barry. She brought home Barry's book, Female Sexual Slavery (1979) which opened the large debate about prostitution within the Vancouver Rape Relief collective. Sally and Marie were critical of Barry's analysis that prostitution reduces women to commodities for market exchange and is the foundation of women's oppression, socially-normalized. By 1984, Sally and Marie had quit the Vancouver Rape Relief collective, and took the Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes out on their own.

International Socialist Influences

The now-independent ASP became affiliated with "Wages for Housework." The International Wages for Housework Campaign was founded in Italy, by the International Feminist Collective, part of an emerging Autonomous Marxist movement, Operaismo. The Italian Operaismo (workerist) movement contended that the sphere of capitalism had expanded beyond the factory on to society as a whole, and proposed a guaranteed income or citizen's wage.

Based on the revolutionary principle that women's unpaid housework under capitalism should be remunerated, Wages for Housework also became involved in organizing domestic workers as well as prostitutes. The English Collective of Prostitutes was founded in 1975.* In the U.S., the U.S. Prostitutes Collective (USPROS) in San Francisco was founded in 1982, and "No Bad Women Just Bad Laws" was founded by Ruth Taylor Todasco in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981, with chapters in Boston, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut, and Portland Oregon.

For more insight on Wages for Housework's feminist application of Marxist philosophy, see: The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community (1975) by co-founders Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James. (Selma James was married to C.L.R. James, a Marxist humanist originally from Trinidad, who co-founded the Trotskyist Johnson-Forest Tendency of the Socialist Workers Party.) Italian-American, feminist scholar Silvia Federici, who also co-founded the original group in Italy, created Wages for Housework chapters in the U.S.


Wages for Housework Committee, International Women's Day, NYC, 1977
(Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute / Bettye Lane)

Shame the Johns 

 

1984

On May 25, 1984, CROWE started a "Shame the Johns" campaign. Shame-the-Johns tactics included photographing, writing down licence plate numbers and postering this information on neighbourhood poles and billboards. Their campaign quickly turned into picketing and verbally harassing sex workers. Shame the Johns also provided B.C. Attorney General Brian Smith with 40 affidavits complaining of loitering, littering, fighting, screaming, use of insults or obscenities and public sex.

On June 8, Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes held their own counter demonstration protesting CROWE's harassment.

Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes counter-pickets the
Shame the Johns protest, Friday night, June 8, 1984.

On June 11, 1984, B.C. Attorney General Smith, now armed with CROWE affidavits, filed an application for an injunction that named 30 people as prostitutes and "public nuisances." A week after copies of the application for the injunction appeared on street lamps, a large protest of sex workers and supporters descended on the West End with whistles and noise-makers, proclaiming themselves the thirty-first "public nuisance."

“Demonstrators protesting effort to clear prostitutes
from the West End tied up traffic with a half-hour parade
Friday night. Police described the march as ‘peaceful.’”
 
Vancouver Sun, June 9, 1984

Then on June 19, sex workers peacefully migrated out of the West End's residential area to a nearly deserted ill-lit commercial district east of Granville Street, in the hope of negotiating the withdrawal of the writ for injunction. On June 20, 12 members of ASP presented themselves at the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral in the middle of the afternoon service and began a four-day occupation. They were welcomed by Archbishop Douglas Hambridge, who invited ASP spokeswoman Sally de Quadros to address the congregation and explain the prostitutes' need for protection from police harassment. Residents of the West End had complained of prostitutes patrolling the Georgia Street sidewalk adjacent to the cathedral. Sally deQuadros said she chose the cathedral because of the tradition that churches serve as sanctuaries.

On July 4, 1984, B.C. Justice McEachern granted B.C. Attorney General Smith the injunction (A.G.B.C. v. Couillard), to be served on anyone on the street "apparently" for the purpose of prostitution or any form of "carnal copulation." The "Quiet Zone" injunction gave the B.C. Attorney General Smith leave to extend the order to any part of the City of Vancouver. Police served the injunction to stop soliciting to more than 300 Vancouver sex workers. Those served with the injunction could later be charged with breaking a court order (and if convicted, serve up to two years in jail) if the police saw them so much as "crooking a finger, stopping guys in cars, waving a car down or hitch-hiking."
"If we make any observation of soliciting for companionship, they'll be charged. It doesn't have to be for money." ~ Inspector John Lucy, head of Vancouver's vice squad

In December 1984, the Attorney General of Nova Scotia applied to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court for a similar injunction to restrain the public nuisance caused by prostitutes in the City of Halifax. The application was refused on the basis that the province was trying to control by civil procedure a matter that fell within criminal and hence federal jurisdiction. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal also dismissed the application as ultra vires in March 1985 (A.G.N.S. v Beaver 1985).

1985

In March 1985, ASP started the "Hookers' Defense Fund," to pay for appeals, copies of transcripts, etc. and to raise money to help women who had been incarcerated and who needed to send their children to the care of family members.

The federal Liberals lost the election of September 4, 1984. Canada's new Progressive Conservative government was now headed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney when the Liberal's Fraser Commission released its report in April 1985. The Special Committee held 22 public hearings and received 575 submissions. Their report stated that the law at that time was failing to achieve its objective of reducing prostitution, or of even controlling it within manageable limits. “Moreover it operates in a way which victimizes and dehumanizes prostitutes.” It was the first official government report to make a connection between the country’s prostitution laws and violence against prostitutes. The committee also recommended small-scale brothels be considered, and they strongly urged there be more robust social programs, including assistance for women who want to exit the sex industry.

In response to the Fraser Commission's recommendations, the Conservative government introduced Bill C-49 to replace Canada's old soliciting law in October. The law was passed December 28, 1985. The new "communicating law" stated that:
 “Every person who, in a public place or open to public view, stops or attempts to stop any motor vehicle, blocks any pedestrian traffic going into or out of any building, stops or attempts to stop any person or in any manner communicates or attempts to communicate with any person for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or of obtaining the sexual services of a prostitute, is guilty of an offence punishable on a summary conviction.
Prostitute confronts man with
"Make Mount Pleasant a
Hooker Free Zone" sign.
May 1986.
Peter Battistoni, Vancouver Sun

1986

On Saturday, January 18, 1986, street demonstrations across Canada called for the review and repeal of Bill C-49. ASP organized "wave-ins," to show support for prostitutes with more than 100 supporters. ("Waving" could be considered "communicating" and result in arrest.) There were protests in Toronto, Calgary, Montréal and Ottawa. By February 19, 1986, 117 women and 57 men had been arrested in Vancouver; 180 women and 53 men in Toronto; and 22 women in Calgary.

Expo '86


The 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication (May 2 to October 13) served as extra motivation for amplified policing efforts to expel sex workers from Vancouver's downtown.

In April 1986, B.C. Attorney General Smith—now armed with the new "communicating" law—instructed prosecutors to ask the courts to impose area restrictions on accused prostitutes and clients both as a condition of bail and upon conviction. As a result, more than 300 people sentenced in the province between April and September were subject to area restrictions.

ASP noted increased police violence towards sex workers, and attempts to evade police had driven women out of the West End. According to Arrington, the women no longer have time to decide if a potential customer is a cop, or maybe violent. The women are also no longer able to work in groups, which gives them some safety, but are working alone trying to avoid the police. "I'm doing a lot of crisis calls in the middle of the night," said Arrington.

May 1986 saw residents and sex workers facing off in the streets again as protests erupted in Vancouver neighbourhoods such as Mount Pleasant, Strathcona, Kensington-Cedar Cottage and Grandview-Woodlands.

By September 1986, Sally deQuadros and Marie Arrington had split, and Marie had founded a new organization, "Prostitutes and Other Women for Equal Rights" (POWER) and continued to produce and distribute bad trick sheets.

Sex worker Michele Lee McLean challenged her charge of "communicating for the purpose" under the Canada's constitution, arguing that the law was vague, uncertain, that it limited freedom, was inconsistently worded in the two official languages and attempted to control traffic which is a provincial jurisdiction.

Several lower provincial courts ruled that C-49 infringed on freedom of association and freedom of expression and therefore was of no force (because it violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms). Court challenges in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Manitoba led to conflicting interpretations of the new law. The Manitoba government asked the Supreme Court of Canada to consider whether prohibitions on communicating and operating bawdy houses violated constitutional rights for freedom of expression and the right to life, liberty and security. The Supreme Court of Canada finally ruled that the communicating law (s.195.1 of the Criminal Code) was within reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society (R v Skinner, 1990).

Work Safe


In September 1986, ASP published its first safe sex pamphlet, with both English and French, in collaboration with Montréal General Hospital and Health and Welfare Canada.

1987

In April 1987, amendments to B.C.'s Health Act (Bill 34) were introduced by Minister of Health Peter Dueck that enabled Medical Officers of Health to order HIV-positive individuals, whose sexual practices were considered “unsafe,” into “isolation, modified isolation, or complete quarantine.” The legislation was met with well-organized protests at the Vancouver Art Gallery organized by the Vancouver Persons With AIDS Society, the Alliance for the Safety of Prostitutes (led by Jamie Lee Hamilton) and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. This would be the last public appearance of ASP. In the end, the bill never passed the legislature.


* CORRECTION: An earlier version stated that the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) was founded by Selma James, and that U.S. Prostitutes Collective (USPROS) was founded by Silvia Federici. These errors have been corrected. For more information on the the ECP and also on USPROS see: Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry edited by Frederique Delacoste, "Part 3 – United We Stand. Divided We Die: Sex Workers Organized." Thank you to the attentive reader who pointed out this out. I apologize for this error. ~A.S.

References