Advice on how to be safe as a sex worker

How to be safe as a sex worker

When working as a sex worker, it’s paramount that you always remain safe. A result of the growing profession has been the demand for better protection and safety for escorts, and all those working in the sex industry.

There has been a rise of UK sex worker projects, which have worked to create safety manuals to ensure the safety for escorts and sex workers in the UK.

This article will look at the best practices, safety measures, and further advice available for keeping sex workers, specifically escorts, safe.

Please note: The below guide can be applied for all types of escorts, whether you are working independently or for an agency.

Infographic highlighting best practices, safety measures, and further advice available for keeping sex workers safe

 

Best practices for escorts to follow to ensure safety

Below are the three essential areas that escorts should focus their attention on to ensure their safety in the profession. These include communication, control, and confidence.

 Communication

Infographic showing all communication tips for sex worker's safety

  • Tell someone – Always let someone know where you’re going when you head out to meet a client. This should be someone trusted and a person you can get hold of immediately (such as a close friend or family member) if you need to. If your family do not know about your profession, building a solid communication /network with other sex workers through forums like SAAFE, is advised. 
  • Point of contact – Leave behind details of where you will be, a contact number of your own, and a guideline of how long you intend to be. Therefore, if you aren’t back at a designated time, you’ll have someone to follow up on this.
  • Carry a mobile – Always carry a mobile phone with you, ensuring it’s kept fully charged and has adequate credit. Inform either your agency (if you have one) or a friend (if you’re an independent), to let them know that you have arrived. Better still have a short cut 999 key programmed on your phone. Make sure you have a secure purse that locks to ensure your phone is safe should a client try to take it if you go to the bathroom. 
  • Get an alarm – Invest in a small personal alarm, and make sure it’s accessible. Keep it on you at all times.
  • Keep your agency (if applicable) informed –  If you’re working with an agent, they should know where you’re working and who you’re with. Ensure your agency have safety procedures in place and can give you the necessary information needed on your client.
  • Stay vigilant – If you’re an independent sex worker, follow standard procedures here and remain extra vigilant, aiming to work around or as near to other sex workers where you can.
  • Do some prep – Find out who your client is and speak to them beforehand. By having a chat with a client before you begin your session, you’ll have a chance to suss them out, get an idea of their manner, and check they aren’t under the influence. If you are meeting in a hotel, ensure that you get details of the room number to inform your agency. Do some research. There are a number of sites that allow you to find out more information regarding known clients. If you have any cause for concern during this stage, or warnings, do not meet them. 
  • Meet prior –  If you don’t get to speak with your client before the meeting, arrange a public place to do so before you agree to anything else.
  • Business first – At your first meeting, be sure to discuss the costs and make clear what is going to happen during the client’s time.
  • Know your route –  Find out the place where you’ll be visiting, whether home or hotel and plan your route, getting an idea about the location before.
  • Know your surroundings –  When you get to your destination, ensure you take as many helpful visual details as you can, including the room/house number, while making a note of the exits.
  • Take a chaperone – If you do have to travel out to a client that you’re unfamiliar with and aren’t keen on the area, consider using a driver or taking someone who will wait outside for you.
  • Sexual positions – Let your client know immediately what sexual positions you’re willing to allow in the initial communications alongside what type of sex you’ll perform. Many escort workers are encouraged to avoid having the client behind them as this position allows them more control, with the escort at their most vulnerable. Remember, you are not obliged to do anything that you do not feel conformable with.

Control

Infographic showing control tips for sex worker's safety

Determine what you’re willing to offer your clients before your job starts.

Whereas some escorts provide specific services, others will work more to accommodate client preferences.

The important thing here is to make your client aware of what they can expect from you and what your services cover – but as importantly, do not cover. Understand that you can say no to anything you do not feel comfortable with and leave. 

Accessories – Some clients may like to incorporate toys in their session. It is advised that you take your own toys for hygiene safety. If you do use toys / accessories with a client, keep one hand for the toy, while the other for the client, keeping them separate. Again, make this all clear at the very beginning and only allow what you feel comfortable with.

Bondage/Fetish– Many clients increasingly select escorts for services they wouldn’t normally request at home – and bondage/fetish is the most common. Unless you are an experienced dominatrix, bondage or a particular fetish is not recommended.  If you do allow bondage, set the ground rules immediately and make sure you aren’t placed in a vulnerable position.

Cameras – With so many methods of recording available now, most of it done simply on a mobile phone, unfortunately some clients may try to record their session without the escort’s knowledge. Make it routine to search your room before you start – or preferably select the room yourself.  If the client repeatedly keeps on putting you in a certain position in eye-line of technology, this can be a clue that there is a camera. Be vigilant. 

Protection: As well as your physical safety, always ensure that the use of condoms is discussed at the very beginning of your meeting. Unfortunately, the concept of bareback is not uncommon throughout the sex industry, yet this is never recommended. Don’t allow clients to suggest otherwise here and always protect yourself. also, make sure YOU apply the condom and not the client. 

Privacy: Keep personal information about yourself as private as you possibly can. A client is paying for your sexual services only, so they don’t need to know about your personal life outside of your arrangement.

Confidence

Infographic showing all confience tips for sex worker's safety

Being in control as an escort can also be connected to your manner, the overall way in which you carry yourself, and, ultimately, your confidence.

As a sex worker, you are your working tool; therefore, you’ll want to be able to protect yourself as best as you can. Undoubtedly, some unscrupulous clients visiting sex workers may thrive on vulnerability and think nothing of exploiting your lack of confidence to suit their needs. Therefore, work hard to promote self-confidence in your manner when working – even if you don’t totally feel it. 

 

  • Be confident – Be in-charge, yet professional and polite. Present yourself in a confident manner both on the phone and in-person
  • Communicate –  Communicate clearly and directly throughout your work
  • Make eye contact – Look your client in the eye when discussing rules, procedures, and money
  • Be in charge –  Behave pleasantly but don’t allow yourself to be walked over. If at anytime you feel uncomfortable politely refuse a service to diffuse a situation. Never be afraid to use the word NO when you need to

Safety measures for sex workers / escorts

The sex industry is undeniably one of the fastest-growing businesses of the 21st century.

This means it can attract an increasing number of people looking to exploit its workers. Therefore it’s crucial to always ensure your own safety.

Most sex workers find they can meet their clients and tend to their needs without any hassle.

However, it’s always worth remembering that this is often an industry whereby it’s usually just yourself and your client – and often away from the view of other people. Therefore, how safe you are when that door closes largely remains your own responsibility.

Unfortunately, the sex industry is also an area whereby many workers are less likely to report an incident if assaulted. But, all violence used here is unacceptable and illegal.

The key to ensuring you stay safe is to stay aware, keep all lines of communication open, and do whatever you can personally (within the limits of the law) to ensure your safety as an escort worker remains your highest priority throughout.

By utilising the advice given above, along with trusting your gut instinct, you can work towards making your immediate environment as protected as possible, ensuring the safest working experience each time.

 

Further safety advice for sex workers

Infographic showing contacts and help services for sex worker's safety

National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a pioneering, national organisation which provides greater access to justice and protection for sex workers who are often targeted by dangerous individuals but are frequently reluctant to report these incidents to the police.

Their core mission – Ending violence against sex workers. 

The organisation encourages all sex workers to report any problem incidents they may encounter when working.

By getting all those in the sex industry to report problematic individuals while receiving alerts about potentially dangerous clients for free, NUM believes that this vital information could just save lives.

If you would like to register with NUM you can do so here. 

 

 

 

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