Monday, September 9, 2019

Why I Support Migrant Sex Workers - A Personal Story

By Susan Davis

(Trigger Warning: physical/sexual assault; fear; poverty; trauma; migration)

Thirty years ago I migrated from Nova Scotia to BC. 

You see, I had worked as an escort in Halifax after working for a catering company, as a hotel chamber maid, as a roofer, and in a health spa. 

I remember making $4 - $5 / hour which was not enough to live on, so I started working massage and escort to cover the bills. 

Escorting was good money until I fell, while going on an outcall, and dislocated my shoulder.

One of my regular customers offered to help me by “fronting” me some LSD to sell so I could pay my bills. 25,000 hits to be exact. 


I managed to sell most of it before a “friend” who was battling addiction reported me to Crime Stoppers for the reward. 

They would pay $2000 in those days for reports resulting in arrest (which was, coincidentally, the price of an ounce of cocaine).

We had been out to see Metallica on their “And Justice for All" Tour. 


Friends were staying at my house for the weekend, so I decided to stay at my boyfriend's house to create an extra bed for someone to sleep in at my place.

I came home the next morning to see if people wanted to go out for breakfast. 


Everyone was gone....My LSD was gone...the apartment was upside down as if there had been a fight. 

I was so mad. I thought one of my friends had taken it. 

I sat down in my usual spot on the couch to think, and looked down at the table.....RCMP business card....oh crap.....

I called the number on the card and spoke to police who said, "You can either come down here or we will come and get you."


Oh boy. 

So, I packed my toothbrush and surrendered to police. 

As soon as I arrived, I claimed the drugs and made a statement stating that none of my friends were involved and the drugs were solely my responsibility.

I can tell you my friends were really happy to see me. Some who had been our guests for the weekend were really scared. 


I saw the charges through and was sentenced to 6 months in prison.
 

When I was released from prison, there were still no livable wages and I was facing numerous failing industries, job markets, and general economic collapse in the Maritimes. 

Many of my fellow east coasters left during that time. It was a large migration of people all fleeing economic hardship. 

We all migrated west trying to find ways to create better lives for ourselves, our families, and our communities back home.

My friend and I set out on Highway 1 outside of my hometown, Dartmouth. 



Her dad dropped us off and I remember him saying “See you at dinner!” 

He didn't think we were actually going to hitchhike across Canada. 

It was a long and dangerous journey. Over 6100 kilometers. 

I remember that one of the first rides we got was from a guy who was returning to Ontario to face a murder charge. He was nice enough but needless to say, we had our guards up. 


He took us all the way to Toronto, where we got stuck for a week living in shelters and trying to work on street.

It was brutal, we did not know the town or where sex workers were working. We got into a taxi and asked the driver to take us where the sex workers were. 


He dropped us off on the “low-track” where clients proceeded to offer me $10 - $20 dollars for service. 

My friend was acting as security as I got into cars with clients and tried to make some money for us to eat and find a room. 

We met a rock n' roller type guy who generously offered to let us stay at his place in Kensington Market. 

We didn't know before going there that there was a garbage strike on in Toronto and that Kensington was a large fresh produce market. 

I remember cockroaches and rotting vegetables all over the streets. 

Shop owners were simply throwing food waste into the middle of the street where cars and trucks were driving over it turning it into mulch.

It was a heat wave and as anyone will tell you about summer in Toronto, so humid it was almost unbearable. The smell....I will never forget the smell....

It wasn't the best night of sleep as the man who offered us a place to stay expected sex in return for his charity. 


I had to watch my friend provide service to this man almost the entire night. So much for his good will and us getting some rest. We knew we couldn't stay there again.

The next day we went to welfare and applied for emergency checks. We also secured beds in emergency shelter so we wouldn't have the same problems we had had the night before. 


While we waited for the money to come through, we decided we would go to the beach on Lake Ontario. 

We needed to bathe and clean ourselves up, so coming from the “City of Lakes,” we immediately thought this would be a good idea. There are 110 lakes in my home town.

Well, we had no idea the state of Lake Ontario. 


There was nothing alive in the lake. I mean nothing. Small pieces of algae floating sporadically...that's it. 

We noticed that there was also a smell in the air but ignored it and jumped into the water. It was cool and we felt refreshed.

We realized after leaving that we could still smell something. What was the smell? Where was it coming from? 


It was us! I smelled like the lake for 3 days even after showering in the emergency shelter!

After six weeks of travel, we finally made it across the Prairies, the Rocky Mountains, and arrived in Vancouver.

We only knew two people in Vancouver. Once again, sex was expected and sleep ever elusive. 


We had to move out if we were going to get some rest.

We first went to welfare and once again applied for emergency money. I then went out to work on the street and once again asked a cab driver to take me to where the sex workers were. 


He took me to downtown Vancouver, Richards and Nelson Streets. 

I could see other sex workers, they were dressed up beautifully. Wigs, stilettos, some in bikinis. 

I picked a corner which had no one standing on it and began to meet clients. 

It was good pay, $100 to $300 dollars depending on the kind of service.

Some of the clients were asking me if I was trans. I was a bit confused....then I realized I was standing in the wrong section of the stroll! 


I moved over and was immediately greeted by another sex worker. She was friendly and wanted me to meet her “man." 

She told me we could share him. She said she would be the “wife” and I could be the “wife in law." 

I had been involved with some pimps in my home town but now that I was in Vancouver I felt nervous about this, so I decided to change strolls to avoid interactions with them.

The next night I went to the “mid-track” located on Quebec Street and Main Street between 7th Ave and 2nd Ave. 


There were sex workers living in a hotel there called the “City Centre.” My friend and I also took a room there. 

It was convenient for clients we picked up on the street and we finally had a safe space for sleeping. 

The room cost $60 a night, which, if you think about it, was highway robbery. 

The hotel owners knew we were all desperate in one way or another and the rooms were actually our homes. $1800.00 / month in 1990 for one room.

The police would come periodically and “sweep” the hotel, knocking on everyone's doors and asking for ID. 


They kicked people out who had too many in one room or who did not have ID. 

I had lost everything including my ID when I had to leave my possessions hidden in a bush while I visited a client in his car. 

Another client felt bad for me and used his ID to book a room for me to live in. 

When the police came to once again sweep the hotel, the room was not in my name. 

I had no ID, so I was kicked out and forced to walk the street til morning when I could find a place to sleep in a park during the day. 

I washed my hair and bathed in a Burger King bathroom so I could go back to work at night. 

I found paid lockers at the Main Street Train Station so the few remaining possessions I had were safe at least while I worked.

During this time I met other sex workers and learned about their pimp families. 


I operated as a “renegade” and stayed under the radar of the pimps for a while by buying beers and smoking joints with the workers who had pimps.

Eventually I was caught by the pimp family known as “North Preston's Finest” and was moved into a townhouse complex where they had two houses. 


Ads in the Buy and Sell newspaper and the Burnaby News were a new way to contact clients and so the clients began visiting us in the houses.

I witnessed terrible pimp violence against my friends. 


I remember the pimps surrounding a woman who had tried to flee and cutting her hair off in front of the rest of us as a warning. 

She was allowed to shower and go to sleep in the house where I lived and I was tasked with preventing her escape. I was told that I would be held responsible if she was to get away. 

She came down in the middle of the night with her possessions and was trying to leave. I begged her not to. I begged her to wait until they took us out to the street to work the next evening. 

She stayed. She stayed and protected me from repercussions at the hands of the pimps.

I remember my friend getting angry at her pimp and him beating her with an iron fire poker in front of us. 


I remember another friend being punched so hard by her pimp in the face that it knocked her right out of her shoes and her wig. She was unconscious for at least 10 minutes but never went to the hospital.

I started using hard drugs to cope with all of the violence I was experiencing and witnessing. I used crack and heroine. 


At first I smoked but eventually began intravenous use...a reflection I believe of the self harm I was experiencing as a result of the PTSD which I was accumulating.

It was also during this time when I met “he who shall not be named and who is responsible for the case of the missing women." 


I jumped into the car with him after my friend said she did not want to go with him. I looked back and she looked scared. 

He took me to the spot I frequently used to visit clients in cars. 

He asked me if I had change for $100 bill and as I was looking in my boot for the money he ambushed me. He assaulted and raped me. 

He was delusional in a way, he offered to drive me back to the corner as if everything was normal. 

I took my chance and dove out of the car being careful to memorize the license plate.

I tried to report him on three separate occasions to no avail. 


The police were not interested in violence against sex workers. 

They told us that if we didn't want to get raped, we should not come there to work.

Then, I escaped my pimp. 


He found me working on street, caught me and beat me. He hit me so hard in the face I fell over a fence backwards. 

I got away that night but now had to fear him finding me again.

Then a kind of miracle occurred. 


I had met an outlaw biker as a client during my time with the pimps. He had become my regular. 

We would go out together riding his bike, going to parties and shows. He was an amazing man and made me feel safe.

When he went to the pimp house to see me and I wasn't there, he left. He then returned with another man. 


This man had a notebook and gun. They demanded to know where I was. 

When the pimps didn't know, they demanded to know any place I might go. 

They then went to every place I had ever taken the biker and questioned people there in the same way they had questioned the pimps. 

They eventually found me and confirmed that I was alright only after scaring the shit out of the pimps and almost everyone I knew.

This had a lasting impact. 


No pimp ever messed with me again and my new Vancouver friends were careful in how they dealt with me. 

This man, this biker....had saved my life...for no reason...for no money...simply because he liked me. 

I am still friends with him now.

There is so much of this time which I have not included here. So many friends I lost to murder, overdose and disease. 


Violence was a daily occurrence. People were always ready to take advantage of us. The police were not interested in helping us. The community wanted to get rid of us.

I believe it is because of these experiences I can empathize with international migrant sex workers. 


Arriving in a place where you don't know anyone and don't know how the sex industry works locally. Being far removed from your family and support systems. 

Having no one to trust and not speaking the language. Facing exploitation at every turn.

I know the kind of courage it takes to migrate.

When I wake up everyday I remember. I may be poor. I may struggle to get ahead.... but I am a long way from where I was when I arrived in this city. 


I have built networks and friendships and a life here so far from my home. 

I have been incredibly lucky.

I remain steadfast in my support of migrant sex workers and ending the vulnerabilities they face when they come here. 


There can be friction between migrant and locally born sex workers over many things. 

We need to remember the challenges migrants face and their strength to endure it and even thrive.

We need to support each other, where ever we are from. 


We are all sex workers. 

Together we can make our lives safer. 

We need to do better, for all of our sake's.


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.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Legal Precedent: Court Enforced HIV Treatment and Testing

New B.C. Centre for Disease Control policy names "sex workers" for risk of HIV transmission


By Andy Sorfleet

At the same time that federal Justice Minister, David Lametti—at a national symposium on HIV criminalization in Toronto organized by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network—was announcing his Liberal Party platform for a new HIV law should they get re-elected this fall, David Bennett Hynd was being arrested and held in custody by police in Vancouver.

Hynd’s crime? Failing to comply with orders to take his HIV medications, conditions imposed by B.C. public health authorities to prevent the possibility of HIV transmission to others.

On June 14, a parliamentary report on the issue of HIV non-disclosure was released. The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights recommended creating a new law to prosecute for “intent to transmit,” and “actual transmission of infectious diseases,” including but not limited to HIV. “Failure to disclose HIV status” where there is no risk of HIV transmission would no longer be prosecuted as aggravated sexual assault as it had been in the past.

On June 14, following a tip from the public, David Bennett Hynd was arrested and spent the weekend in police custody awaiting his court appearance on June 17.


Policy procedure: “People with HIV/AIDS who may pose a risk of harm to others”


In June 2017, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) released guidelines for Medical Health Officers that outline procedures to follow, within the legal powers vested in them by the B.C. Public Health Act. It was as if those procedures were tailored to address the specific challenges presented by someone like David Bennett Hynd: what to do if someone deemed to pose a risk of HIV transmission to the public refuses to take HIV treatment medications?

This step-by-step policy became the basis of Hynd’s 24 court-imposed probation conditions. The Probation Order creates an escalating scale of HIV treatment surveillance and viral load testing, with the penultimate result of the patient being compelled to attend the designated clinic at a designated time on a daily basis to be observed by clinic staff taking his daily medication.

David Hynd’s Probation Order sets out HIV
treatment and viral load tests as conditions.
Perhaps most significant to the HIV community, we also have no idea why Hynd is refusing medical treatment for HIV. First and foremost, HIV treatment should be about maintaining good health and well-being.

“Many HIV-positive folks are not undetectable, and some of our discourse runs the risk of demonizing them for the same virus we all have. There’s nothing sinister or predatory about going off meds,” Alex Cheves writes in The Body.

Under the B.C. Public Health Act and similar acts in other provinces and territories, medical health officers possess the power to detain, test, treat and quarantine any person who is deemed to threaten the public health, within carefully defined rules. Nevertheless, some have said that this case is an “anomaly” that is “unprecedented.”


The ultimate public health penalty: arrest and forced treatment


According to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights report: “The committee strongly believes that the use of criminal law to deal with HIV non-disclosure must be circumscribed immediately and that HIV must be treated as a public health issue.”

“To end the epidemic, the committee is of the view that barriers undermining the public health objectives of HIV prevention, testing and treatment need to be removed.”

The question is, could a punitive approach, such as using the courts to enforce Medical Health Officer orders to maintain HIV treatment, be a barrier that undermines public health HIV prevention, testing and treatment objectives?

When Hynd pleaded guilty to charges under the B.C. Public Health Act for failing to comply with Medical Health Officer orders, he was given a suspended sentence, with probation orders to maintain HIV treatment and get viral load tests. When Hynd continually failed to show up for his clinical appointments, his name and his photo, along with his HIV-positive status, were released to the media. A week later, Hynd was arrested, charged with probation violation under the B.C. Offences Act, and held in custody. As a result, Hynd has two charges on a criminal record. If he is found guilty under the B.C. Offences Act, Hynd could face a $2,000 fine or six months in prison, or both.

David Hynd was the first person B.C. health officials had to take to court to compel to seek HIV treatment. “In general, people with HIV do not pose a risk to the public,” Dr. Harding told the CBC. So why did the B.C. Centre for Disease Control create whole new policy guidelines to deal with them?

Intentionally causing physical harm, including negligence, are already crimes under the federal Criminal Code whether it be in an infectious disease context or not. Do HIV-positive people who stop taking medications belong in prison? If it rarely happens, does that make it fine to use provincial criminal charges to compel HIV treatment? Is this not an excessive use of force?

According to Medical Health Officer Dr. Gustafson, charges were sworn under provincial health legislation designed to protect public health as opposed to the Criminal Code. “Criminal prosecution is not appropriate for HIV,” she said. “It’s not appropriate for communicable diseases—period. It’s not appropriate; it’s not effective,” Dr. Gustafson told the CBC.

“One of the worst outcomes of taking this step is that the public mistakenly gets the impression that something like this can happen to them either easily or that there isn’t due process or fairness or ethics.”

When I asked Cheryl Overs, senior research fellow at the Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights in Melbourne, for a comment, she had this to say:

I find it interesting the doctor says criminal law isn’t appropriate. We agree with that. However, health regulations—like all administrative laws—are complex and can have just as many teeth.

Typically, administrative law [like B.C.’s health legislation] has lower standards of evidence, proof and judgment, and offers little opportunity for a defence. Crucially, administrative law is not open to the same level of scrutiny as criminal law, unless appealed to judicial review.

In other words, offices can be more dangerous than courtrooms.

Implications for sex workers


The 2017 B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) guidelines for Medical Health Officers explicitly states that “exchanging goods or money for sex” (along with anonymous sex in bathhouses and group sharing of needles) is considered a setting and context for high risk of HIV transmission. According to the guidelines, physicians who learn or suspect that a patient may be engaging in behaviour considered high risk, have reason to report that this person may pose a risk of HIV transmission to others. Based on these reports, the Medical Health Officer can compel individuals to be tested for HIV. Testing positive for STIs is also used as evidence of having posed a risk of HIV transmission to others.

In addition, "sex workers" appear as the only example of persons who may have HIV who may pose a risk to the larger community, and thus non-compliant sex workers are vulnerable to having their name, a description and HIV status published in the media by public health authorities, police and courts as has happened in the past. (Read, “HIV Hooker A Dilemma for Court,” The Province, June 23, 1996.)

These are harmful assumptions rooted in ignorance and steeped in prejudice. In fact, a sex worker study conducted in Victoria (n=201 adult sex workers aged ≥ 18 years, including 160 female, 36 male and 5 transgender individuals) has shown that condom use with clients among sex workers exceeds 90%, indicating that professional sexual services are performed safely in an occupational setting. (BCCDC’s Estimation of Key Population Size: Final Report, 2016 p. 13)

Could public health statements that centre sexual services as a vector for HIV transmission contribute to the fact that 29% of sex workers fear being judged by doctors? A 2014 Working Paper by Celia Benoit et al from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research also reported that 40% of sex workers said their health-care needs were not met in the prior year compared with about 12% of the general population. Could prejudicial assumptions about providing sexual services be barriers to public health goals for STI and HIV prevention and discourage sex workers from accessing sexual health services?

The 2017 BCCDC Guidelines for Medical Health Officers outlines the steps Medical Health Officers can use to legally compel sex workers to test and be treated for HIV. Sex workers need to be made fully aware of Medical Health Officer's powers under the Public Health Act, before ever disclosing any personal information about providing sexual services. (For highlights from the BCCDC policy, see page 10: "Powers Under Public Health Act to Contain Risk of HIV Transmission.")

David Hynd’s case, where court actions were used to compel HIV treatment, has been called a legal precedent by Medical Health Officers. It demonstrates how courts are to be used to prevent risk of HIV transmission by compelling HIV treatment under B.C.’s Public Health Act. Anytime anyone gets arrested in a non-criminal context there should be some form of inquiry and review of the case, resulting in a report that the accused can access and publish if they so desire. And, an appeal process to an independent jury.

For more on this topic, you can read my full brief: Getting to Zero? HIV Criminalization and Treatment Adherence Surveillance: Compelled HIV treatment to prevent risk of HIV transmission in the Vancouver Coastal Health vs. David Hynd case. Prepared for the Triple-X Workers' Solidarity Association of B.C.

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