We have gathered some tips and advice from various sex workers in the Caribbean who have learned good ways to protect themselves while working. We would like to share these tips with you and encourage you to ALWAYS put your safety first.

 

  • Ensure that you ask the client what services they require before meeting with them. This can be a source of discontent if what the client wants you are not prepared to give.
  • Discuss your rate before you go with the client. However, if you meet via telephone, wait until you meet in person and then suggest rates based on your assessment of how much s/he can pay.
  • Always suggest the place where you will perform your services. Clients can take you to places that are unsafe physically and put you at risk of being raped, robbed and beaten.
  • If the client is not comfortable going to the place you suggest, have a discussion and negotiate the place. However, DO NOT go into areas you are not familiar with.
  • DO NOT take drugs or drink alcohol while on the job. You want to be conscious of what is happening while on the job. Drugs and alcohol make you do things you would not normally do, cloud your judgement and open you up to making decisions that put you at risk of HIV.

“Drinking makes me feel powerful and I tend to be a bit aggressive. I am normally submissive and so when I drink I am the one who penetrates and I enjoy watching them wince in pain. Outside of that I always ask my clients if they are OK and make sure they are comfortable.” - MSM Sex worker, Jamaica

  • DO NOT do business with clients who are drunk or under the influence of drugs as they tend to be aggressive and can hurt you.  
  • ALWAYS travel with your own condoms and lubricants. You alone can determine the safety of these essential items
  • If performing your services in a building, hotel, motel, private home, make sure you map out exit routes in case of an emergency
  • Make sure someone knows where you are at all times. If you are going with a client in his/her car, make a note of the licence plate, type of car, colour of car, get his/her name. Send a text message to a trusted friend or colleague with the details collected and the address you are going to.
  • If you meet on the internet, ensure someone knows who you are going to meet and where.
  • When meeting a client through the internet or via the phone, try to meet before you agree to the service. One female sex worker advised:

Let them give you information about what they are wearing and tell them what you will wear as well. Do not turn up in the same clothes you promised, so that you can check out the person from a distance before agreeing to meet up for the service.”

  

And, if at any time you are with a client and feel uncomfortable, you should stop the service immediately.