Background

After consulting with our community over the course of a series of projects which included:

  • community economic development through cooperative business models
  • establishing of Occupational Health and Safety Standards through development of union/industry association for all aspects of work within the sex industry.

Our cooperative development projects included the collective desire to establish:

  • a cooperative consulting firm – so that when paid opportunities arise to present at conferences, round tables or panel discussions, a more diverse group of sex workers could benefit. Too often organizations and others choose and the same few, token community representatives or representation via “advisory board” in place of true community engagement. This idea is still critical as we move forward and we continue to work to ensure as many sex workers as possible have a chance to bring their voices to the table.
  • a cooperative brothel – including a show lounge (strippers) / space for drag performance, safe work site, kitchen/ food service and housing for elderly sex workers. Our intention was to also serve alcohol so we could generate funds and more jobs for our community.
  • a credit union – the most recent addition to the cooperative development activities includes a bank. Laws in the US are impacting the ability of sex workers all over the planet to pay for advertising and save money without fear of seizure. Many groups have community based credit unions including the Vancouver Police. Pension plans, insurance and financial advice... all tailored to the needs of our community. A dream to be sure!

Our Union and Industry Association development projects included recommendations for:

  • a trade association and a branding or certification process to support safer work conditions over all and stabilize the existing safer indoor venues that exist now.
  • development of occupational health and safety training as a way to give people entering and in the sex industry the tools to make safe decisions about their work.
  • Develop a community based complaints process to reduce the need for police or other intervention.

It was agreed that all stake holders including business owners and consumers should be engaged to contribute to the design of the future of our industry.

Since development of these ideas, we applied for funding to develop the cooperative “Safe Work Site”. We tried twice, in a process which takes around 9 months to complete, through the “Innovative Cooperatives Development Fund”. We were told both times, we were not seen as a priority for the fund and were denied funding.

We had more success moving the establishment of OHS training materials forward. Funded through Vancouver Coastal Health, we engaged with the community to try to gather as much knowledge and experience as we could to compile into a detailed health and safety manual known as Trade Secrets Guide.

You can view the detailed guide here:

Trade Secrets Guide - Detailed

Now that we have this resource we have begun work on the second component of the union development project recommendations. We are working to develop a system of accreditation in order to:

  • establish a standard in labor practices for our industry
  • create a foundation for a “future” sex industry managed complaints process.

The Certified program is the first attempt at these ideas. We hope you will consider taking part in and/or providing feedback about this new process. We know that there maybe unforeseen barriers or other issues we couldn't predict so we are counting on you to share your questions, concerns and ideas with us to make it the best it can be.

Health and Safety Priorities

The Naked Truth Team surveyed sex workers to discover priorities for improving health and safety among our community and discovered that the 5 issues which concerned sex workers most were:

  • Screening Clients
  • Finding A Safe, Discreet Workspace
  • Advertising Costs
  • Fear of Enforcement/Police
  • Reporting Bad Experiences

We have been working with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police to understand what their concerns about the sex industry in our city and what causes enforcement. Through a number of projects over 15 years both as the BCCEC and in partnership with other sex worker groups, we worked to unravel the literally system wide regulations which impact sex worker safety and the stability of the places where we work.

The end result was the City of Vancouver, The Vancouver Police and now all 45 police services in BC and the E-Division of the RCMP have all adopted “lowest level of enforcement” policies for adult consensual sex work.

As a response and in an attempt to ensure sex workers define how this policy is applied, we have developed a low barrier process for health and safety “certification”.

What is Certified?

Certified! is a “pilot” project to bring occupational health and safety to the sex industry and create a mechanism to raise our collective voices.

Every province in Canada has a “certification” process for alcohol service. In BC this is known as “Serving it Right”. The process consists of a safety/ legal information manual and and “open book” test. The purpose of the test is to ensure that people who wish to work in alcohol service understand the laws which govern their work and their responsibilities to their patrons.

This easy approach of health and safety information sharing seemed to be a great fit for the sex industry! So sex workers in BC set out to create the material necessary to form a foundation for a new, never before tried, process of certification in the sex industry.

This voluntary, free pilot program has two parts.

Health and Safety Training Manual – containing information about our community, the law, your health and your safety

Certification Quiz – to ensure you have the tools you need to make safe decisions about your work.

Why get Certified?

Health and Safety are the main reasons why places where we work experience enforcement. Police, City Inspectors, health authorities and researchers don't know that we have created ways to protect ourselves. Some believe we are all victims of pimps and human trafficking and others believe we all have addiction issues, emotional problems or deadly diseases. Most believe that the businesses where we work let under age or exploited people work there.

We must prove to these people that:

  • we are of legal age for work in the sex industry
  • we know how to protect our health
  • we have learned skills for protecting our safety
  • we know who to call if we are in trouble
  • the businesses where we work are NOT all exploitative and in fact the majority are not

If we want to stop unnecessary enforcement, mainstream systems must know we have developed skills to protect our health and safety. If we can build trust with police and inspectors we can use the certificate to prove workers have the tools to be safe working in the sex industry. With this trust we can also potentially create an environment where the certificate can be used instead of a workers actual ID to prove the worker is of legal age to work in sex work.

ID Checks are scary and represent a risk to sex workers confidentiality. In particular migrant or non-Canadian sex workers who are in a legally precarious position due to their status could present the certificate instead of their passport and prevent potential deportation or other legal problems.

The certificate will not display a workers legal name. A work name/ stage name can be used instead and still be recognized by police and inspectors as meaning the worker is of legal age and knows who to call if they are in trouble.

In Vancouver the police and City Inspection Staff know about the certificate and have said they will recognize it to mean we are of legal age and have skills to protect our health and safety. We will work with Police and City Staff in Canadian cities starting in BC until we can make sure they all understand what the certificate represents. How it could work to reduce risks to sex workers and ensure they are of legal age without invasive inspections or placing migrant sex workers in legal jeopardy and at risk of deportation.

It is a new way to conduct sex industry business that will increase our health and safety, as well as the health and safety of our clients.

It also has the potential to reduce outside agencies disrupting our safe work places and give us third-party recourse when we’ve had a bad experience in the course of our work.

Access to The Naked Truth Certified Members Only Benefits...

  • $50 credit to put towards your ad(s) when you get certified
  • Access to private, certified member only forums
  • Access to private, certified member only client screening tools
  • Referral credit of $25 to put towards your ad(s) whenever you refer someone to get certified
  • Every time you upgrade an ad, it will automatically appear in the “Certified” listings – a separate page where clients can browse for sex workers who are Trade Secrets Certified
  • Complaints about certified members will be investigated and may result in suspension and/or termination of certification ensuring the integrity of the program
  • Ad discounts for all certified members

Why should you support this idea?

Many of you will be well-versed in the safe practices of our industry and may feel like you don't need a certificate to prove it.

We hope you will consider taking part and helping to embed some good sex work practices for the future.

We will be fine-tuning and improving our certification process over time based on feedback from you.

We will work to ensure clients are aware of the benefits of seeing a Certified Provider and to increase your earning potential.

Our ongoing ad campaign to raise awareness of The Naked Truth and what getting certified means will build trust and integrity in our industry.

Certification is also for business owners. Many business operators are ethical and could benefit from being certified.

Clients will know you are safe and sex workers who are looking for a safe place to work will know too.

Certification is FREE!

Training involves familiarizing yourself with the “Trade Secrets Safety Manual”, an open book exam, and confidentially confirming you are of legal age to engage in sex work. Your name will not be stored or kept anywhere.

Are you ready to take part? Find the certification materials here! Please contact us if you have any questions or need support completing the quiz!

Get Certified!

Ready to get started?

With support from a sex worker organization, another certified sex worker or on-line in a one on one training, we will ensure you have access to information which is critical to your health and safety, that you understand the Trade Secrets Safety Manual and can complete the quiz.

Follow the link below to find the Trade Secrets Safety Manual and start by reviewing the following information which is in sections:

  • Sex Work and the Law
  • Sex Work and Safety
  • Sex Work and Health
  • Our Community

Each section describes the critical information your fellow sex workers wanted you to know when becoming a member of our community. This information highlights key areas where sex workers experience risks to their health, safety and quality of life.

We hope this information will give you the knowledge you need to make safe decisions about your work and that you will know who to call should you need help or support. We are here to answer any questions you have about the content of this process and hope you know...

We have your back!

Find the Trade Secrets Safety Manual here:

Trade Secrets Safety Manual

Ready To Take the Quiz?

Once you have reviewed the information, there is a short Quiz to ensure you have understood the main ways you can protect yourself, the laws which govern sex work and that you know there is help and support should you need it.

Complete the Quiz using the information in the manual. This is an “open book quiz” so don't worry, check back and find the answers if you need to.

We are happy to help!

If you find any part of the Quiz confusing we are happy to help you find the answers. We will make sure you can become Certified! and support you though the process. Let us know how we can help! Answer the questions on a piece of paper, print them or you can answer in a word document or email. We will accept all formats for the answers to the quiz.

The Quiz (coming soon) Contact Us for Support

Are you a Sex Industry Client? Want to be Certified!?

Get Started!

Start by reviewing the following information which is in sections. Each section describes the critical information that sex workers want you to know about being a client, including how to choose a worker, avoid police, and engage with sex workers in healthy, safe respectful ways.

We are here to answer any questions you have about the content of this process and hope you know...

We have your back!

Benefits of Being a Sex Industry Patron

  • Stigma
  • Avoiding Criminalization
  • Human Trafficking
  • Sexual Health
  • Personal Relationships with Sex Workers
  • Sex Worker Etiquette
  • A Final Word

Once you have reviewed the information, there is a short quiz to ensure you have understood the main ways you can protect yourself, the laws which govern sex work and that you know there is help and support should you need it.

Complete the Quiz using the information in the manual. This is an “open book quiz” so don't worry, check back and find the answers if you need to.

We are happy to help!

If you find any part of the Quiz confusing we are happy to help you find the answers. We will make sure you can become Certified! and support you through the process. Let us know how we can help!

Sex Workers want you to know!

How much we appreciate our clients! We want you to have safe, healthy experiences when you access services in our industry. If you ever encounter any problems, are the victim of a crime while purchasing services or have had a negative experience and need support, please feel free to contact the Naked Truth Support Team and we will do our best to support you in any way we can!

We value your business, friendship, and respect and hope you find this information useful during your interactions with us!!

Need Help with the Quiz?

We are here to help! Contact us and we will help you in anyway we can to ensure you become a Certified! Client.

Contact us