By Annie Temple
When our clients are considered to be breaking the law by using our services, and the laws around advertising are vague and open to interpretation - we are at the mercy of online advertising platforms.
We know we have to use them, and sometimes we love them.
When we're getting lots of inquiries from potential clients, we know our advertising money is well-spent.
When work is slow, we not only struggle to afford advertising but we are bitterly disappointed when we spend money that seems to get us nowhere. (In some cases, it's the only money we have.)
So, while advertising is a necessary evil, our relationships with adult classifieds providers can be truly demoralizing.
Take Leolist, for example.
In a very short time, Leolist has:
- switched owners six times and is now based in Hungary;
- raised their prices;
- decreased the upgrade benefits (for instance we used to get seven hours of a highlighted ad and suddenly we now only get 4 hours for the same price);
- and their payment processor has been a nightmare!
I know sex workers who can literally not advertise on Leolist because they don't use bitcoin. (Only a select few providers are given the option to use credit cards.)
And honestly, as much as I love hiding money from the government, bitcoin is a laborious process and the currency fluctuates so much that losing money is the norm.
Other frustrating issues with most of the current advertising platforms available:
- Two-way communication is limited and usually unhelpful.
- Sex workers' concerns and questions are considered insignificant.
- There is a danger every day that the advertising platforms we're using could be taken down by governments that don't care about our livelihood or safety.
- Without advertising platforms we must find clients other, less safe ways, such as through social media, in bars, on the street, and in adult forums that are not designed for sex workers (usually fetish or sugar sites).
- Prices are ridiculous.
- We are taken advantage of because they know we have limited options to advertise our services and our profession is stigmatized and criminalized, so we have no recourse either.
A few weeks ago, we posted an article declaring that the new Nakedlist Adult Classifieds website was days away from launching.
Unfortunately, we ran into some glitches and our launch was set back.
We are still working on those issues and feel that we are very close to getting our new site live.
The Nakedlist will offer:
- affordable advertising;
- respectful two-way communication;
- credit card transactions;
- crisis credits for struggling sex workers;
- and we believe we've found a legal loophole so that our services are legal and therefore not vulnerable to outside enforcement agencies.
We are in communication with our local police force about what we're doing and they support our efforts so far.
We are committed to providing a safe, adult business resource for sex workers.
Please bear with us until we've got the system rock solid!
DEAR SEX WORKERS AND ALLIES:
In an ironic twist of fate, a Vancouver sex worker is facing her rapist in court on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
Every year on December 17th, sex workers and allies gather to honour sex workers who have suffered and lost their lives due to violence.
This year, our gathering will send a distinct message to rapists and other predators.
People are often scared to report sexual assault because even with evidence, it is difficult to prove rape.
Often, we are made to feel as though it is us who are on trial. Not the men who forced themselves on us.
Sex workers face even more discrimination than the average person. Some people believe that sex workers cannot be raped because of the nature of our work.
This attitude suggests that our boundaries and bodies do not matter. To much of society, and certainly to the men who rape us, we are disposable human beings.
Predators believe they can be violent towards us because “the police won’t care,” “the judge and jury won’t believe” us, and we “asked for it by doing this work.”
Carmen surprised the man who raped by going to the police and seeing her case through.
Please join us on December 17th, 2019 in front a Lower Mainland Courthouse where we will carry signs and show our support for Carmen, sending a clear message to predators…
We’re not going to take it anymore.
We are not your easy prey.
Sex workers are reporting crimes against us without fear.
Police are listening to us because they’ve seen the damage that is done when they don’t take sex workers seriously.
Courts are listening to us because they have no choice.
We demand to have our voices heard and our rights upheld.
Sex workers provide an important service to people we treat with care and respect.
We are not here to take abuse. We are not here to be willing victims for society’s worst predators.
We deserve respect.
We deserve consideration.
We deserve justice.
If you’d like to join us on December 17th, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on where and when we will be gathering.
PS. Coming soon... We will feature Peter Berton's incredible interview with "Cop to Call Girl" author Norma Jean Almodovar!
You won't want to miss it.
Thank you for your patience! Sending good money vibes for your December. XOXO