WORK TIPS

Basics

  • As a sex worker, you offer sex for money or other benefits
  • It concerns acts that may turn on your client and yourself
  • Take your time to go through all the information

Drugs

Drugs allow you to feel less inhibited and to sustain sex for longer.  You are more likely to push beyond your limits.
As a result you are at higher risk to contract an STD or HIV.

When using, be mindful of the risks, inform yourself about the effects and agree on things with your sex partner(s).
For help and information, check www.druglijn.be, www.infordrogues.be or www.chemsex.be.

  • When accepting drugs from strangers, you cannot be sure of the quality. Therefore, be careful with this
  • Try not to share your own equipment (needles, syringes and other paraphernalia)
  • Take breaks from using and introduce periods of rest
  • Do not take Viagra or other potency enhancers in combination with poppers, speed or coke
  • Agree on what needs to happen when someone blacks out. Take care of each other
  • Discuss the use of condoms and safe sex in advance
  • Inform someone you trust in case of any problems
  • If necessary, go to the doctors and tell them honestly how much you have used

Money

  • Determine in advance how much to charge for what you want to do (or have done)
  • Avoid changing your price, even if your client insists
  • Make sure your client pays upfront
  • Put money aside for the periods you are quitting or not working

Health

  • Take regular rest breaks and make sure you get enough sleep
  • Sport and physical activity have a reenergising and relaxing effect
  • Limit alcohol, drug and tobacco use
  • Food and drink:
    • Take time to eat
    • Eat a healthy and varied diet, avoid too much sugar and fat, make sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
    • Avoid having too much coffee, fizzy drinks or energy drinks

Internet

The Internet (profile sites, chats and dating apps) is useful for sex workers to get in contact with clients. However, be careful, whatever you put on the internet can be seen by everyone and can be used against you. This can haunt you for a long time, which can be very difficult. Be careful with information you give out about yourself.

  • Information about yourself:
    • Use a nickname or just use your first name
    • Don’t post any (naked) photos and/or videos that disclose your identity
    • Don’t post information that shows who you are, where you are, where you live or work
    • Turn off location services
    • Protect your profiles
    • Use an anonymous email address
    • Beware of the risks of sexting
  • If you have a website, make sure it has a clear lay-out and a clear description of your services
  • Don’t accept just anyone as a friend on social media
  • Ask your client to turn on the webcam when chatting
  • If you come across child porn, you can report this on www.childfocus.be

Clients

  • Always be honest about your services, age, photos, …
  • Respect your client, but equally make sure you are respected
  • Treat all personal information of your clients with discretion
  • Be clear right from the start about what you do and how much you charge for it
  • To avoid fakers or untrustworthy clients, it is best to have the client call you when he/she is at the meeting point
  • For a first meeting, it may be a good idea to meet in a public place or in your neighbourhood instead of immediately giving out your address
  • Be clear about your limits and stop when something is not ok for you
For clients of sex workers
  • Make clear arrangements, indicate clearly what service you are requesting and how much you are willing to pay for it
  • Respect the limits of the sex worker
  • Regularly get yourself tested for STDs and HIV, have safe sex
  • Report all abuse or coercion to the police
  • If you come across child porn, you can report this on www.seksualiteit.be 

Victim

Always report physical or verbal violence. Transphobia, homophobia and racism are aggravating circumstances and therefore it is vital to report them.

You can contact:

  • The local police; the police has special guidelines with regards to transphobic violence and discrimination of transgenders

  • UNIA (Centre for equal opportunities and opposition to racism)
  • Lumi (formerly Holebifoon)
  • Institute for equality between women and men
  • Organisations for sex workers

Quitting

Distance yourself
  • Get a different mobile phone number
  • Delete the numbers of your (regular) customers
  • Delete the profiles you used for sex work
  • If you have a website, close it down
  • You can ask Google or other search engines to remove any results for queries containing your name
  • Consider what and who you want to tell about your sex work
  • Consider what you put on your C.V. for the period that you (exclusively) were a sex worker
Money
  • Look for a fixed income
  • Plan your budget
  • If necessary, seek support
Keep busy
  • Look for an activity: (voluntary) work, training programme, hobby, …
  • Keep in touch with family and friends outside the scene.  Build a separate network away from sex work
Persevere
  • Always keep your reasons for quitting in mind
  • Don’t give up if it doesn’t work first time round
  • If necessary, seek support

Safety

  • Make sure you have someone you can trust and can contact if there is a problem
  • It may be a good idea to inform this person about the client, the time and place of the date and when you have arrived at the meeting point
  • Take your mobile phone; the ” Find my iphone ” app or the ” Where’s My Droid ” app allow for your phone to be located
  • Make sure you always carry valid identity papers
  • Make sure you always have your possessions close at hand, so you can leave quickly if necessary
  • It may be a good idea to call your client when you are at the meeting point
  • Be on your guard and closely observe to your client’s behaviour
  • If there is something you don’t like, stop
  • If you are being threatened:
    • Look for an exit. Don’t let the client block it
    • If you cannot escape, try to calm down the client and don’t provoke any further violence
    • Make yourself heard. Scream. Run to a place where there are other people
    • Ring 101. Clearly state where you are and what is happening

Legislation

Sex is allowed
  • With clear permission.
    A minor under the age of 16 cannot give consent. Exception: between the ages of 14 and 16, provided that the age difference does not exceed 3 years.
  • If the consent is not withdrawn; not even during the act.
Is punishable:
  • Sex without consent.
  • Violation of sexual integrity (previously called “indecent assault”). Eg. forcing someone to undress, forcing someone to masturbate, touching the breasts,…
  • Rape, even if the penetration is not complete.
  • Crime against the person (formerly “crime against family order and public morality”)
  • Voyeurism: means that people, without being seen, become sexually aroused by looking at certain objects, persons or activities.
  • Incest: a family member sexually abuses a child or young person.
Sex work
  • You can if you are of age .
  • Advertising is allowed as
    • You advertise your own services.
    • Your advertisement is placed on an internet platform or other medium that is specifically intended for sex work.
    • The internet platform demonstrates that it makes reasonable efforts to combat the abuse of prostitution and human trafficking.
  • You may rent a house together with other sex workers in which you offer sexual services, provided that there is no relationship of authority between you..
  • Pimping is prohibited and is
    • Organizing another person’s sex work for personal benefit.
      • Receiving compensation for exercising hierarchical control over sex workers.
      • Coordinating the activity of different sex workers (determining the work schedule, working hours, …).
      • Exceptions determined by law:
        • Approval procedure for operators.
        • Essential conditions within which sex work may be organised.
        • Conditions imposed on the manager, not on the sex worker.
    • Promoting, inciting, encouraging or facilitating prostitution for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, an abnormal economic advantage or any other abnormal advantage.
      (This situation refers to abuse of sexual services offered by another person. For example, asking excessive rent or demanding sexual services on top of regular payment by, for example, an accountant. Renting a hotel room to an independent sex worker at a normal price is allowed. renting out a hotel room at twice the price because it concerns a sex worker is punishable, and anyone who actively facilitates this abuse is also punishable.
  • Human trafficking is prohibited
    • Trafficking in human beings is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, housing, reception of a person, the exchange or transfer of control over him in order to exploit that person.” ( eg bringing a person to Belgium with the intention of having them work in prostitution.)
    • Cases of abuse and human trafficking must be immediately reported to the police and judicial authorities.
  • Public incitement to sex work is prohibited.
    • Inciting people to prostitution with advertising materials.
    • Use any means, eg . offering meals, gifts or other lures.
  • It is not possible to declare the nullity of a contract for sex workers.
Labour legislation
  • It is possible to register with an entreprise office as a self-employed sex worker
  • If you register as a self-employed person, you must pay taxes and social insurance contributions.  One of the advantages of this is that you build up a pension and are insured in case of illness
  • On www.socialsecurity.be and www.violett.be you will find detailed information about what you need to do before you can start working

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