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.
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:
Finding A Safe, Discreet Workspace
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!
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
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...
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.
Are you a Sex Industry Client? Want to be Certified!?
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
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.