Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trade Secrets: Working Indoor

Post reproduced from Trade Secrets: Health and Safety in the Sex Industry which was published in BC, Canada in 2009. All advice given in these posts comes from sex industry workers who shared their experience and knowledge for this guide.

The Naked Truth will feature one section from the guide each week. This week's post is from Chapter One: Our Workspaces.

Note from Trina: If any of the information you see is outdated, please comment below or send me an email so that I can correct the information. I will also update each section on the Trade Secrets blog as I go.

Working Indoor

When we refer to sex industry workers who work “indoor,” we are talking about the majority of sex industry workers - all of us who do not work on the street. We work in agencies, our own homes, clients’ homes, bathhouses, apartments, cruise lines and hotels, to name a few.

There are many “indoor” venues where sex work takes place. In-house refers to sex work done at a workspace such as a home, dungeon, or massage parlour. Out-call refers to going to the client – their homes, hotels, clubhouses, yachts, and even party buses.

Working indoors increases the health and safety of sex industry workers because we have access to toilets and showers for cleaning up and because others are usually around, in case we need help. But we should still be aware of potential dangers and take precautions to reduce any risks.

Safety Tactics

Here are some tips for staying safe when working indoors:

  • Do not answer calls from private or withheld phone numbers. Your call display can leave evidence, in case of an emergency.
  • Have a driver take you on out-calls, so someone knows where you are. If he is also acting as security, make a plan with him so he knows if and when to interrupt the session.
  • Call a friend or your agency in front of the client so he/she knows someone is keeping track of where you are and whom you’re with.
  • Have another worker or security in the next room.
  • Make sure the doors and windows are locked, and the blinds are adequately closed before commencing an appointment. This prevents predators or robbers from getting into the suite while you are entertaining.
  • Keep your cell phone close in case you need to call 911.
  • Have a safety plan to phone your booking staff if a conflict arises. Then stay on your cell phone while the booking person phones the predator, distracting him so you can escape.
  • Watch to make sure clients do not remove condoms without your knowledge.

Being Discreet

Here are some tips to help you keep your business discreet and consistent, without drawing the wrath of your neighbours or other community members.

  • Don’t keep clients waiting in halls, lobbies, or in front of the building. Clients appreciate discretion, and this can also help prevent neighbours from calling the vice squad.
  • Keep windows and drapes closed, to avoid offending others with visuals or noise pertaining to sex work. Keep the volume reasonable to help prevent police calls or neighbours complaints.
  • Don't discuss session activities or money with clients outside your home where the community and public can hear you.
  • Don’t wear a lot of make-up or dress sexy when going to an appointment. This cuts back on attention from civilians and allows you to travel more discreetly. Pack make-up, clothes, and make-up remover. When you arrive, immediately excuse yourself and go to the washroom and apply more makeup. Before leaving, wipe the extra make-up off.
  • Your home is your fortress. Do not party there. Keeping your home private and discreet is key because noisy tenants draw attention. Being a noisy, problem tenant can lead to eviction and force you to move your business location. This will cost you income and some of your regular clientele.
  • Don't get too close to your neighbours. A connection with a neighbour can quickly become complicated and end up compromising your privacy. For example, if a fellow tenant discovers your occupation, he or she may be frightened or offended, which can also lead to eviction and loss of income.

Stags and Private Parties

These shows are usually done in private residences, party buses, or private clubs or restaurants that do not normally book entertainers. Booking is done either through agencies or privately and through online sources such as Craigslist.

Because it's an unregulated environment, contact is totally up to the entertainer and ranges significantly. You are responsible for your own security, transportation, and fees. You are generally paid to do a strip show, duo, or live erotic performance then you may offer lap dances. Some gigs require you to stay and socialize, hostess, or hang out with the party. Other gigs are quick "do a show and get out.” Pay ranges depending on tips, lap dances, time committed, and your ability to charm.

Most often stags are done alone or with another entertainer and without security. Safety precautions are the same as outcalls. Have someone know where you are, text the name, phone number and address to someone you know. Arrange for how often you'll check in with a friend or agent. With an exotic dance gig it's usually when you leave (or within the hour). If it's longer (2-4 hours), check in every hour or so.

Dungeons

There are many potential risks involved with dungeon work, including, for example, pinching fingers in clasps/chains, tied-up people falling while equipment is attached to them, bondage cutting off circulation, fainting from pain, etc. Some tools can be particularly risky, for example, the Violet Wand.

Predators posing as clients could also use our tools and supplies against us. Don’t allow your client to walk around the dungeon where he can get a hold of the gear. Get the client naked and crawling with the donation in his mouth as soon as possible. Then get him in restraining gear immediately.

Ensure that your co workers/ other performers know what they are doing and are experienced in particular with rope tying, toys, and bondage techniques. These can be dangerous if done incorrectly. You could be injured or worse.


Living in Your Workspace

It is not uncommon for sex industry workers to live in their workspaces. For example, some exotic dancers place all their household belongings in storage while they live on the road. Many Dommes live in their dungeons. Sex workers share rent on an apartment where they can live, work, and watch out for each other too. Actors operate webcam businesses out of their bedrooms.

If you live in your workspace, make sure you get out for breaks and fun as much as possible. Spending too much time in your workspace can make you feel bored, depressed, and burnt out. We are meant to have balance in our lives. Too much of one thing is never healthy.


Hours of work

The hours we actually perform services may be very small in comparison to the hours we are on-call. Some escorts, for instance, are expected by their employers to be on-call 24/7. But at the end of the week, they’ve only worked three to ten hours. The hard part is having a life. Get to your kids dance recital? How about a few hours of uninterrupted sleep? Good luck!

Exotic dancers are not required to be on call, but sometimes find themselves blacklisted for saying no to a gig. Many dancers get around this issue by booking through several agencies and switching whenever a conflict arises with one of them. After awhile, the cranky agency will forget about it and be glad to hear from you when you call again.

A show may only last 18 minutes but the exotic dancer often works 10 to 13 hour shifts. The time between shows is rarely enough to engage in meaningful activities.

Don’t underestimate the power of a psychological break. Being on-call or at work between sessions/shows, is NOT time off work. Only you know how burnt out you get without a break. Be good to yourself.

Security

You know that big, lovable guy friend of yours who never has a job? Put him to work as your security. Yeah, it sucks to take a cut off the top. But it’s easier to give it up because he’s your friend. You’ll feel more confident and comfortable knowing you’ve got back up if you need it.


About Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets is a collaborative project that was contributed to by diverse members of the sex industry and their community.

About the Project

Who Contributed?

Some of this information may be outdated. Please feel free to comment below the relevant posts and information you'd like to add or update. Your help is appreciated.

Thank you for your commitment to supporting health and safety in the sex industry.

In Solidarity,

Trina Ricketts (Annie)

No comments:

Post a Comment