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Note from Trina: If any of the information you see is outdated, please comment below or send me an email so that I can correct the information.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.
Travelling for Work
If you travel to work, here are some great safety precautions you can take.
- Have friends know where you are staying, who you are working for and what types of work you are participating in.
- Check in with friends frequently, so they know you are okay.
- Forward all emails from business owners to your friends to leave a paper trail of your work plans.
- Try to avoid hitchhiking. Or at the very least, don’t do it alone.
- Travel with a colleague.
Don’t Leave Home Without It
We all know workspaces in this industry can be a little on the grungy side. Many of us have shown up to find our accommodations more appalling than appealing. Here is a list of things to take on the road, if you’d like to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Don’t leave home without it…
- Toilet paper from home (better than the sandpaper you find in most hotels)
- Tampons, if applicable
- Small cooler (for fresh fruit and veggies)
- Bedding for a queen size mattress (you can always put it on a smaller bed)
- Portable heater in winter
- Hand sanitizer for rooms with no hot water
- Hot plate for inexpensive meals
- Phone cards
- Teddy bear
- Phone charger
- Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (try finding that in a small town at 4 am)
- List of known contacts in the area you are visiting
- Emergency money and plan
- Camping foam pad in case your mattress sucks
- Crazy glue to fix boots (black permanent marker and black electrical tape are also useful for boots)
- Travel mug and teabags – hot water’s not too hard to find and it’s free
- Kettle that doubles as a soup heater (inexpensive to purchase)
- Plate, bowl, cutlery, a little bottle of dish soap and a sponge
- Lots of dried goods for snacks
- Favourite jeans, big comfy sweater and boots for your day off
- Something that reminds you of home, a picture or clock or candle can make a lonely night better
- Mini-sewing kit and safety pins
- Pictures of your kids
- Sage to give the room a little smudge/cleaning.
Work items you don’t want to forget:
- Wet wipes
- Own toys or equipment
- Safety supplies (gloves, condoms)
|Bed bug poo along edge of mattress.|
You should check for bed bugs before settling into your room whether it’s a dive or the Hilton. Look for bed bug poo – dark spotting and staining on the mattresses. You may also see eggs and eggshells, moulted skins of maturing nymphs, and the bugs themselves, which are about 1/4 inch long and reddish brown, with oval, flattened bodies.
To reduce the chances of bed bugs getting into your suitcase, keep it off the floor on a suitcase stand or something. When you pack to leave, first inspect your luggage carefully and inspect every item as you pack to help detect any bugs or their signs.
If you find bed bugs in your room, wash all cloth items in hot water and detergent followed by drying on low heat for at least 20 minutes (or standard dry cleaning). Sealing freshly-laundered items inside a plastic bag should help keep any more bed bugs from getting in those items (and being carried back home with you).
Bedbugs do hide in the seams and under the material of cloth bags and suitcases. If you find you are always dealing with bed bugs, you may want to get rid of your luggage. If you are on the road and want to get rid of your luggage, you can purchase new luggage or garbage bags to carry your belongings home.
It’s hard to remember all the rules about air travel, but there are some things we should know. For instance, don’t carry on luggage with anything you don't want taken out for the public to see, such as big black dildos or granny porn mags. Sometimes it’s just easier to ship big props or promo by Greyhound in advance.
Luggage advice (This info may be outdated. Check your airline website for current info.):
- For checked luggage, wrap personal items like toothbrushes and sex toys in clear plastic bags so that the security guards hands don’t touch them (in case of an inspection).
- Pack all camera film in your carry-on baggage. Camera film under 800 ASA/ISO will not be damaged by equipment at the pre-board screening checkpoint
- There is a maximum of one lighter per person allowed, so if you have 500 lighters with your sexy photo on them, don’t try to bring them on the plane.
- Pointy scissors are not allowed in carry-on luggage but you can bring them in your checked luggage.
- You can bring forks and spoons in your carry-on but knives must be packed with checked-in luggage.
- Strike-anywhere matches and bleach are not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage.
- Sharp items in checked luggage should be wrapped or sheathed to prevent injury in case of inspection.
- Handcuffs can go into checked luggage, but not carry-on. Be aware of restrictions on any props you might be carrying. For example you cannot fly with gunpowder in any quantity. Make sure any props are clean and free of residue. Don't have anything for pyro shows in your luggage. Poi or fire wands should be clean, dry and free of residue, if at all possible. If you line the bottom of your suitcase with the wands (in line with the metal tracks of the suitcase) it makes for less questions.
- Send large props, contest gear, and other supplies by Greyhound.
Example of an air travel list of by a Professional Dominatrix:
- One whip that has no metal on it
- One pair of work shoes - usually clear so they match everything
- One formal dinner outfit
- One track suit and runners for the plane/travelling
- Three squishy work outfits that can be steamed (usually lingerie that is dominant looking - i.e. bustier)
- Blow-dryer and curling iron
- My own rope
- Travel size steamer
- Some speakers (small enough to fit in carry-on luggage, able to charge an Ipod, and amplify music when working).
- First aid kit
- Health/safety supplies
- Cleaning supplies (minus the bleach)
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
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.
Trina Ricketts (Annie)