Sex Workers

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Sex workers are adults who consensually exchange sexual services for money or goods. Sex workers range in age, sexual orientation, gender expressions, education, and income levels, as well as racial and cultural origins. Most of the sex work in Canada takes place in private settings. Such as escort services, massage parlours, hotels/motels, and homes.

Sex work is work. It can be empowering to have autonomy. Sex workers can oversee their wages, have flexible hours, a high income, and no education/experience necessary. Other job barriers, such as a criminal record or a physical disability, can be avoided.

Individuals make decisions based on what they believe is best for them in the situation they are in. Yet, this does not mean that sex work is always an empowering experience.

Sex workers deserve safety and the same labour and human rights and protections as any other person in Canada.

Why We Serve Them

The risk of HIV and/or other STBBIs transmission increases with number of sexual partners. While sex workers may have a greater number of sexual partners, the prevalence of HIV and STBBIs among Canadian sex workers is no greater than in the general population. Sex workers are well-versed in prevention and take efforts to reduce their risk.

Stigma, isolation, and harmful regulations often restrict sex workers' ability to protect themselves.

In Canada, selling sex has always been legal. Extra rules make it very hard to buy or sell sex without infringing another law. These regulations hinder communication, supportive coworkers, and continue to perpetuate stigma.

These risks are not inherent to sex work, but instead are a consequence of continued marginalization.

Facts


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The average age a sex worker sells their first sexual service is 26.

The average sex worker is Canadian born, Caucasian woman in her 30s or 40s with some post-secondary education.

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97% of sex workers have been tested for HIV.
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65% of sex buyers used in-call services, 55% visited massage parlours, 39% used out-call services, while only 17% bought sex on the street