Friday, January 14, 2011


“It was amazing to be a part of designing the future of our industry! We had all shared similar experiences even though very different at the same time. It made me feel like I was part of something bigger than me. I liked talking with my fellow sex workers! We’re good people! – Susan Davis

“It was a pleasure to work with Annie (Trina Ricketts) on the Trade Secrets project. For me the most beneficial aspect of the process was to see the industry from the many different perspectives of all of the other participants. I think that this kind of ongoing collaboration will be a very positive force within the entire adult industry.” - Cecil English

“We thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Trade Secrets project. There was something incredibly powerful about this group of individuals sharing their experience, ideas and most importantly their stories without judgment or criticism from the others. As a result of this project Surrey Women Centre has been able to provide ongoing support to two of the group participants.” – Sheena Edgar, Program Manager, Surrey Women Centre.

“Several women who attend The Women's Resource Society of the Fraser Valley's Warm Zone drop-in centre participated in the Trade Secrets Project, providing their insight as to their experiences as sex workers. Following a focus group hosted by Trina Ricketts, several of the women expressed feeling empowered and validated in their fears and concerns surrounding their personal safety while working in the sex trade. Women who participated in the focus group commented that it was a positive experience for them, specifically because they felt their voices were heard and that their opinion mattered. The Women's Resource Society of the Fraser Valley's Warm Zone project aims to create opportunities for marginalized women to feel included in society, not excluded. The Trade Secrets Project provided this opportunity, for which we are grateful.” - Michele Giordano, Women's Resource Society of the Fraser Valley

“It has been my pleasure to be a part of this much needed information seeking and organization of it. I truly appreciated getting to know those involved in dispelling ALL the myths surrounding sex work and bringing a legitimate vision and attitude to the table. Good work all and I look forward to more involvement!” - Velvet Steele

“I'm thrilled to have been part of the creation and development of Trade Secrets. I value the opportunity to share stories and information, in the name of increasing health and safety and reducing harm to sex workers who, without empowerment and open dialogue, are too often left vulnerable. I believe this guide is an important step in the journey for sex workers in achieving individual and social self-determination.” ~Lola Lala

“The Trade Secrets Guide is by far the most comprehensive sex work resource I have ever seen. The guide takes what is sadly a unique approach by empowering the community and giving individuals in the industry the opportunity to share what they feel is important for each other to know. It is relieving to see more coming in the way of resources that are not exit oriented. I believe everyone, not only industry professionals should read this guide. I hope this guide remains a living document to be renewed and updated as necessary, it is so important in our communities.” - Jasmine Redfern, HIV Educator and Sexual Health Advocate

“Being part of this project was inspiring and gave me hope for a future that is not full of discrimination and stigma.” – Jessica Rabbit

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Forward by Raven Bowen

This guide was envisioned and created by sex industry workers who are invested in the concept of self-governance. The following is a foundational document wherein workers shared their invaluable lived experiences, which were collapsed into best practices to operate as industry standards. We believe that standards or regulation should come from within the industry and not outside of it.

Sex industry workers have the knowledge, skills and capacity to shape the sex industry into one that prioritizes the health, safety and wellness of those who work within it ,as well as dispelling myths and educating others.

Sex industry workers do not support exploitation, violence, youth involvement or forced involvement (economic or otherwise) in the sex industry. The sex industry, similar to all other industries consists of harms and benefits and it is up to those who work within it to reduce the harms and maximize the benefits.

To this end, adult sex industry workers who cover a range of adult services from adult film to escorts, hustlers to exotic dancers, aim to create working environments and working cultures that adhere to human rights legislation, common law and labour standards. They aim to take control of the industry they work in.

These ideas are based on the operating principles that govern co-operatives -one worker, one vote! Simply put, we want those who work in the sex industry to control the industry and to benefit directly from their labour, history and collective experiences.

The audience for this guide are primarily sex industry workers and stakeholders in the broader community who support self-governance, harm reduction, and the realization of human and labour rights for sex workers. Sex industry workers speak out and take action on issues that affect their lives at great risk, especially within criminalized environments and in the face of groups who work to silence and de-legitimize their contributions.

Projects like these only come to fruition through the generous support of progressive funders and the true grit of sex industry workers. I urge readers to embrace this document and recognize it as a practical guide for sex industry workers and stakeholders and as allegory...we will not be silenced.

Raven R. Bowen
Former Regional Coordinator
BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

Chapter 13 - Intro

We realized when we were planning this guide that we have this whole group of people in our industry that we never hear from. Our coworkers are rarely talked about. Yet, many of them share the same stigma we do, for just being a part of this industry. They keep their jobs secret, experience violence, and the industry could not go on without them. This chapter is for our coworkers.

We were able to collect information for Booking Staff, Security/Drivers, Strip Club DJ’s, and Strip Club Servers. All of the information comes from people with experience in these positions. This chapter only touches the surface and we hope in further editions of Trade Secrets, the information here will be expanded and include other coworkers.


  • Good people
  • Self employed
  • Work when you want
  • No benefits
  • People look at you funny

Photographers can take training in how to use the equipment, lighting, etc. Training is their own responsibility.

One respondent recommends having a solid knowledge of photography, lighting, computer software, working under pressure, and how to treat people professionally.

  • Learn to listen.
  • Don’t make hasty comments, think things out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advice for Using This Resource List

The following is a list of resources sex industry community members can access for health, safety, dignity and when they have been the victim of or charged with a crime.

We have included local police offices (in case you have to report a crime), victims services workers (if you have been the victim of a crime), legal aid services (if you have been charged with a crime), organizations (HIV prevention) where workers can access harm reduction supplies (condoms and lube etc.) and where they are available, sex worker specific support services (so you don’t feel judged when asking questions).

As far as accessing nonjudgmental health care services, we have included them where we are certain of fair treatment but suggest asking local HIV/AIDS organizations for referrals as they probably have a sense of where to go on a localized level.

If your organization is not included in the following list or you would like to start an organization and you would like to take part in mobilizing and stabilizing Canada’s Sex Workers, please feel free to contact the BCCEC by emailing for information on how to proceed or with your information for addition to the community.

If your town/community is not on this list also please contact us or the organizations in the city nearest you.


Nunavut Legal Services Board
Telephone: (867) 360-4603


Telephone: 867-975-4409


Victim Services-From 9 til 5 daily
819 964-2086, 819 964-2053 or 1 866 778-0770
Qikiqtani Inuit Association- Aids Iqaluit
PO Box 1340
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0
Tel.: (867) 979-5391
Fax: (867) 979-3239

Northwest Territories

Legal Services Board of the Northwest Territories
Telephone: (867) 873-7450

Deh Cho Friendship Centre- AIDS NT
Box 470
Fort Simpson, NT X0E 0N0
Tel.: (867) 695-2577
Fax: (867) 695-2141

Yellow Knife

5010 - 49th Avenue (Henry Larsen Building)
Yellowknife, NWT X1A 2R3
Telephone: 867-669-5100

Yukon Territory

Yukon Legal Services Society
Administration Office
Suite 203, 2131 Second Avenue
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 1C3
Phone: (867) 667-5210
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0408 ext 5210
Fax: (867) 667-8649

Dawson City

(867) 993-5555

White Horse

Yukon Headquarters
4100 4th Ave
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory Y1A 1H5
Telephone: 867-667-5551

Blood Ties Four Directions Centre
4230F - 4th Avenue
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 1K1
Tel.: (867) 633-2437 (toll free Yukon/BC: 1-877-333-2437)
Fax: (867) 633-2447

British Columbia

Legal Servics Society BC-Legal Aid
Outside Victoria and Vancouver: 1-800-663-7867
In Victoria: 250-387-6121
In Vancouver: 604-660-2421

Victim’s Services for all of BC will refer you to supports near you.

BC's Queer Resource Centre

Prince George

Prince George RCMP
999 Brunswick ST, PRINCE GEORGE, V2L 2C3
(250) 561-3300

New Hope Society
Sex Worker Organization
1046-4th Avenue
Pr.George- V2L 3J1

Prince George AIDS Prevention Program
Northern Health
1108- 3rd Avenue
Prince George, BC V2L 3E5
Tel.: (250) 564-1727
Fax: (250) 564-1743

Fort St. John

10648 100TH ST, FORT ST JOHN, V1J 3Z6
(250) 787-8100

Dawson Creek

1230 102nd AVE, DAWSON CREEK, V1G 4V3
(250) 784-3700


560 Battle ST, KAMLOOPS, V2C 6N4
(250) 828-3000

AIDS Society of Kamloops (ASK Wellness Centre)
433 Tranquille Road
Kamloops, BC V2B 3G9
Tel.: (250) 376-7558 (toll free in BC: 1-800-661-7541)


350 Doyle AVE, KELOWNA, V1Y 6V7
(250) 762-3300

Living Positive Resource Centre - Okanagan
101 - 266 Lawrence Avenue
Kelowna, BC V1Y 6L3
Tel.: (250) 862-2437 (toll free: 1-800-616-2437)
Fax: (604) 868-8662


The Warm Zone Drop-in Centre
2481 McCallum Road


Surrey Women’s Centre
Bad Date Report Line: 604-583-1295

Surrey HIV Centre
Box 500 Surrey Main
Surrey, BC V3T 5B7
Tel.: (604) 589-8678
Fax: (604) 583-8848

The Naked Truth


BCCEC-BC Coalition of Experiential Communities

WCCSIP- West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals

HUSTLE- Men on the move
for male and trans sex workers
604 681-3044

Pivot Legal Society
678 Hastings St East,
Vancouver, B.C.
V6A 1R1 Canada,
Tel. (+1) 604 255 9700

P.A.C.E. Society
direct support for sex workers
mail: P.O. Box 73537
1014 Robson St.
Vancouver, B.C
V6E 1A7
Office Address:
49 West Cordova Street
Vancouver B.C.
V6B 1C8
Tel: 604-872-7651
fax: 604-872-7508
Toll free: 1-866-872-8751
Hours: of Operation: Monday to Thursday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM

PEERS Vancouver- exiting support for sex workers
604 681-3044

Supporting Women’s Alternative’s Network
604-719-6343 or email us at

Contact: 119 West Pender Street, Vancouver
Phone: 604-669-5567

WISH Drop-In Centre Society
Phone: 604-681-9244 –drop in centre- 604-669-9474

Mobile services for sex workers
Cell phone- between 10 pm and 7am

Boys R Us Program
Contact: (mailing address only) 320- 1290 Hornby St Vancouver
Phone: 604-633-4200
Fax: 604-714-3478

Three Bridges Community Health Care Center
1292 Hornby Street
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 1W2
Fax: 604-734-5918

139 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
Fax: 604-694-7779

Downtown Addictions Services
569 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1G8
Fax: 604-255-0314

Onsite Transitional Housing
3rd Floor-Insite
139 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
Fax: 604-694-7779

Pender Addiction Services
59 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1R3
Fax: 604-688-9775

Health Contact Centre
1st Floor-Roosevelt Hotel (enter from alley)
166 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1N4
Fax: 604-669-5185

Aboriginal Wellness Program
255 East 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5T 2H1
Fax: 604-875-6609


Greater Victoria Police Victim Services (GVPVS)
850 Caledonia Avenue
Victoria, British Columbia
V8T 5J8

Victoria Police Department
Main Headquarters Building
850 Caledonia Ave.,
Victoria, British Columbia
Canada, V8T 5J8
Front Desk Hours 7am to 8 pm
Telephone: (250) 995 - 7654
Main Administration Fax: (250) 384 - 1362
West Division
500 Park Place
Esquimalt, British Columbia

PEERS Victoria
1-744 Fairview Road, Victoria, BC V9A 5T9
Office hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday
Telephone: (250) 388-5325 or Toll Free 1-888-733-7722

Peer Resources Victoria
1052 Davie Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8S 4E3

Sandy Merriman House Emergency Shelter for Women [click on shelter]
1634 Store Street
Victoria, BC
250) 383-1951

Aids Vancouver Island
Street Outreach Servcices & Street Nurse Program
1601 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC |V8W 2J5
tel: 250.384.2366

Victoria AIDS Resource & Community Service Society (VARCS)
1284F Gladstone Ave
Phone: 250-388-6220
Victoria, British Columbia
FAX: 250-388-7011
V8T 1G6

Bridges for Women Society
320-1175 Cook Street
Victoria, BC V8V 4A1
Tel: (250) 385-7410
Toll Free: 1-866-896-3356
Fax: (250) 385-7459

Women's Sexual Assault Centre
Crisis Line & Info Line: (250) 383-3232
Business: (250) 383-5545
FAX: (250) 383-6112
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 am - 5 pm
#511 - 620 View St.
Victoria, BC, V8W 1J6, Canada

Together Against Poverty Society
#302 - 895 Fort Street
Victoria BC V8W 1H7
Phone: (250) 361-3521
Fax: (250) 361-3541



Edmonton Regional Legal Aid Office
Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Clients are seen on a walk-in basis. There are a limited number of interviews conducted daily, depending on availability of Legal Aid Officers/Interviewers.
*Appointments available in special circumstances.
300, 10320 102 Avenue
Revillon Building
Edmonton AB
T5J 4A1
Phone: (780) 427-7575
Fax: (780) 427-5909

Police Headquarters
9620 - 103A Avenue
Edmonton, AB. Canada
T5H 0H7
Non-Emergency Calls
(780) 423-4567

If you have been the victim of a crime and would like support please call.
Division Phone
North (780) 426-8160
Southeast (780) 426-8260
West (780) 426-8060
Downtown (780) 421-2760
Administration (780) 421-2217
Court Preparation (780) 426-8249

Kindred House
safe house
10628 - 96 Street
Edmonton, AB T5H 2J2
Phone (780) 422-7333
Fax (780) 422-7343

Boyle Street Co-op
10116 - 105 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5H 0K2
Tel.: (780) 423-3122 ext. 210/211
Fax: (780) 425-2205
Van Phone: (780) 990-6641


Calgary Legal Aid
Monday - Friday 7:45 AM to 5:15 PM.
Clients are seen on a walk-in basis. There are a limited number of interviews conducted daily, depending on availability of Legal Aid Officers/Interviewers.
*Appointments available in special circumstances.
#1800, 639 5th Avenue SW
Standard Life Tower
Calgary AB
T2P 0M9
Phone: (403) 297-2260
Fax: (403) 297-2232

Calgary Police Service- non emergency number

Victim Assistance Unit

Shift Program
for sex workers-

AIDS Calgary
110, 1603 10th Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T3C 0J7
Phone: (403) 508-2500
Fax: (403) 263-7358


Legal Aid Saskatchewan
CENTRAL OFFICE SASKATOON #502 - 201 21st Street East SASKATOON SK S7K 2H6Phone 933-5300 FAX 933-6764Toll Free: 1-800-667-3764


Regina Police Service Contact Information
General Calls and Non-Emergency ComplaintsBox 196 Regina, SK S4P 2Z8(306) 777-6500
1717 Osler Street Regina, SK
(306) 757-5461 FAX(306) 359-1012
TTYFront Desk
Hours of Operation: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

North Central Community Centre
1264 Athol Street

Al Ritchie Community Centre
2250 Lindsay Street

Victims Services unit

AIDS Programs South Saskatchewan (APSS)
2735 5th Ave.
Regina, SK S4T 0L2
Tel.: (306) 924-8420 (toll free in Saskatchewan: 1-877-210-7623)
Fax: (306) 525-0904


Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition (CHRC)
220 3rd Ave S, PO Box 3043
Saskatoon, SK S7K 3S9
Tel.: (306) 955-5130 (toll free 1-800-955-5129)

Saskatoon Police Service
130 4th Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK
Service Centre Hours of Operation: 7:00am - 11:00pm
Phone: (306) 975-8300

Victim’s services unit- (306) 975-8400


Legal Aid Manitoba
Administration Office
402-294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0B9
Phone: (204) 985-8500 Fax: 944-8582
Toll Free: 1-800-261-2960

University Law Centre
Faculty of Law - 101 Robson Hall
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2
Phone: 985-5206 Fax: 474-7580

Winnipeg Application Centre
300 - 294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0B9
Phone: 985-8500

Regional Offices

Legal Aid Manitoba has four regional offices. These offices handle family matters, child protection matters and criminal cases for adult and youth clients.

Thompson Community Law Centre (Thompson)
3 Station Road
Thompson MB R8N 0N3
Phone: 677-1211 Fax: 677-1220
Toll Free: 1-800-665-0656

Parklands Community Law Centre (Dauphin)
31 - 3rd Avenue N.E.
Dauphin MB R7N 0Y5
Phone: 622-7000 Fax: 622-7029
Toll Free: 1-800-810-6977

Westman Community Law Centre (Brandon)
236 - 11th Street
Brandon MB R7A 4J6
Phone: 729-3484 Fax: 726-1732
Toll Free: 1-800-876-7326

Northlands Community Law Centre (The Pas)
Box 2429, 236 Edwards Avenue
The Pas MB R9A 1M2
Phone: 627-4820 Fax: 627-4838
Toll Free: 1-800-268-9790


Winnpeg Sex Work Education Advocacy & Rights

Nine Circles Health Clinic
705 Broadway
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 0X2
General Line: (204) 940-6000
Toll Free 1-888-305-8647
Clinic: (204) 940-6001

Emergency ....................................911
Non Emergency.........................................986-6222
Victim Service Unit...................................986-6350

Community Services (Crime Prevention and School Resource Units)

Domestic Violence Crisis Line
(24 hours) ..............................................942-3052

Sexual Assault Crisis Line ........................786-8631

Suicide/24 hour Crisis Line.......................786-8686

Age and Opportunity Centre .....................956-6440

Elder Abuse Resource Centre ...................956-6449

Child and Family Services:
After Hours............................................944-4050

Immigrant Womens Association
of Manitoba Inc. .....................................989-5800
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre...................925-0300

City/Provincial Emergency Social Assistance:
After hours..............................................945-0183


Osborne House ..........................................942-3052
Ikwe-Widdjiitiwin .....................................987-2780
Salvation Army Mens Residence ..............946-9402
Victim/Witness Assistance Program.........945-3594
Child Abuse Witness Program ..................945-0662
Women’s Advocacy Program ...................945-6851