Trade Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Safety, Health and Well-Being for Sex Workers

Trade Secrets - a thirteen-chapter guide to health, safety, business and well-being for all sex workers - was compiled by the British Columbia Coalition of Experiential Communities from 2007-9. The guide was written by 13 sex industry workers and was based on interviews and focus groups to include input from 89 men and women with diverse experiences in the sex trade, 19 third-party individuals, and seven clients.

The guide reminds SWOP-Chicago of The Boston Women’s Health Collective’s renowned “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and is just as empowering, detailed and useful. Although specific information on laws and resources will not apply to U.S. or Chicago-based workers, the guide remains infinitely useful.

We’ve provided links to the most relevant sections for U.S.-based sex workers below.

Trade Secrets - Online Version

Chapter One - Our Workspaces

  • Intro
  • Working the Street
  • Working Indoor
  • Adult Film Studios
  • Webcam and Internet Safety
  • Strip Clubs
  • Travelling for Work
  • Working In Small Towns
  • Costumes and Supplies
  • Safety Advice for Everyone

Chapter Two - Our Co-Workers and Associates

  • Intro
  • Booking Staff / Phone Girls
  • Drivers
  • Exotic Dancer Agents
  • Hair and Makeup Professionals
  • Movie Directors and Producers
  • Photographers and Cinematographers
  • Pimps
  • Security
  • Strip Club DJ’s
  • Webmasters
  • Other Entertainers
  • Drug Dealers

Chapter Three - Our Clients

  • Intro
  • Typical Clients
  • Screening Customers
  • Treat Your Clients Well
  • Seduction Techniques
  • Conflicts with Clients
  • Talking to Customers
  • Intoxicated Patrons
  • What Clients Want Us Know

Chapter Four - Our Work

  • Intro
  • Adult Film and Modeling
  • BDSM / Fetish
  • Striptease / Exotic Dance
  • Sex Work Indoor
  • Sex Work Street-based
  • Webcam
  • Advocating for Change
  • Dealing with Reporters
  • Dealing with Researchers
  • Quotes from Employers

Chapter Five - US

  • Intro
  • What Stresses Us Out
  • Burnout
  • How We Feel About Our Jobs
  • Maintaining Boundaries
  • Emotional Clients
  • Confidence and Body Image
  • Our Sexuality
  • How We Fit Into The World
  • How We See Ourselves
  • Substance Use for Coping
  • Staying Sane
  • Be Strong

Chapter Six - Our Bodies

  • Intro
  • Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • Common Issues and Remedies
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Interesting Condom Facts
  • Penis Health
  • Vagina Health
  • Fake Lay
  • Anal Health
  • Safe Scatology
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Beauty Secrets
  • Cleansing and Basic Skin Care
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Substance Use and the Sex Industry
  • Drug and Alcohol Infodex
  • Sex Worker Quotes About Drugs

Chapter Seven - Our Relationships

  • Intro
  • The Whore Stigma
  • Should I Tell or Should I Snow?
  • Your Partner
  • Honesty
  • Sexual Diversity
  • Whore Fatigue
  • Our Children
  • Family Members
  • Ghosts of Highschool Past
  • Advice From Other Workers

Chapter Nine - Our Businesses

  • Intro
  • Finding a Business Space
  • Licensing Requirements
  • Skill Building and Training
  • Workers Compensation
  • Filing Taxes
  • Budgeting and Investing
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • How to Earn More $$
  • Do What You Love

Chapter Ten - Our Community

  • Intro
  • The Adult Entertainment Community
  • Stigma
  • Cultural Associations
  • Neighbourhoods
  • What We Want the World to Know
  • What We Still Need and Want
  • Advice from Other Workers

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