Sex & Relationships

G, a Toronto-Based Sex Worker, Shares Her Story

Inspired by the new VICE documentary The New Era of Canadian Sex Work, we invited three Canadian sex workers to share what their jobs are really like

toront-based sex worker

G. (Photo used with permission)

G, 40, Toronto

Years active in sex work: 12

Type of sex work practiced: Upscale courtesan/escort. I am a full-service, in-call sexual service provider, meaning I host select gentlemen and the occasional lady or couple in a space I provide and engage in a range of sexual services from a quick blowjob to protected intercourse. I specialize in providing fantasy, role playing and light fetish work to the discerning client. All my client engagements must be safe, sane and consensual. (Also a good rule of thumb for life!)

I work: as an independent.

I work that way because: I prefer to control the environment in which I work, the clients I see and the prices I charge. I host in upscale hotels and feel that providing the whole experience both helps keep me safer and the quality of service consistent. I love being my own small business!

I identify as a: service provider, or SP, for short. Although you’re more than welcome to call me “whore,” I am deconstructing the term. I heard the Celts admired the term before the Christian tradition—what’s wrong with a woman who loves sex?

I got into sex work because: I was up to my eyeballs in student debt, and I had a professor who did her dissertation on this industry and realized most of the stereotypes about it do not hold.

How I got into sex work: I found an agency in the phone book and arranged for an interview.

My first client experience was: I have been doing this for more than a decade. I cannot honestly remember my first client experience.

What surprised me most about sex work was: The demographic, which is mainly conservative middle-aged men. Ironically, the exact people who vote for parties that propose legislation that makes my profession illegal and thwarts my rights as a worker. Case in point: the recent passing of Bill C-36.

I love sex work because: I enjoy helping people achieve intimacy, whether it is someone with medical, physical, mental or emotional difficulties; giving a lonely person some joy; or helping a man who loves his dying wife remove sexual tension from the stress of their lives; or just helping boost a client’s self-esteem. A client walking away happy is very fulfilling. Another thing I love about sex work is making my own hours.

Related: New VICE Doc Examines the Lives of Canadian Sex Workers

My schedule is: I generally work three calls a day, four days a week. I can afford to take a week off whenever I like and tailor my schedule as I wish. Usually I do not work more than 20 hours a week. On average, I probably see 12 to 15 clients a week, 20 maximum, mostly regulars.

My clients are: Middle class and up. About half these days are in their twenties, as they are attracted to the idea of me as a MILF. The other half are middle-aged men or greater. I do not discriminate on the basis of a client’s ethnic background (some girls in this industry do), so one-third of my clients are visible minorities. I also occasionally see women and couples looking to explore.

My favourite on-the-job fashion item is: Thigh-highs, tan and black, and definitely stilettos. I have a favourite pair of faux six-inch Louis Vuitton heels—aroused men are a little colour-blind and no-one has noticed they’re knockoffs! By far the most requested outfit is a slutty secretary/librarian outfit: pinstripe navy blue suit jacket, black miniskirt, matching bra and underwear, stilettos and thigh-highs with my hipster-frame Tiffany glasses.

The most rewarding part of my job is: Again, making people happy. I have helped shy clients move out of their parents’ basements and start dating, and quadriplegic clients experience intimacy. I’ve been there to give palliative clients a last romp; and answer long withheld questions about the female anatomy they never had the courage to ask. I have offered and participated in so many wonderful human sexual experiences it is hard to summarize them all.

The most challenging part of my job is: Dealing with clients that are jerks. Thankfully, they tend to be rare, but the number of jerks has seen a substantial increase with the passing of Bill C-36.

The skills you need to be successful at sex work are: Personality is the most important. Clients want to be made to feel desire and respected. Obviously fellatio skills do not hurt.

Related: Amber Rose, a Montreal-Based Sex Worker, Shares Her Story

The biggest misconception about sex work is: That we are all pimped-out drug addicts who are under-educated.

The funniest thing that ever happened to me on the job is: I threw up on a client whose endowment and enthusiasm encouraged my gag reflex.

My biggest professional triumph is: I am sex worker activist, so my biggest triumph has yet to be realized. The day that sex workers enjoy full labour rights, societal acceptance and legislative equality with other workers will be a great triumph for myself and society.

I am great at my job because: I have an amazing personality, and I honestly love what I do. I am not bad on the eyes either.

I felt unsafe on the job when: I did a threesome with two men for one of their fiftieth birthdays, and one of the clients attempted unprotected anal sex, rationalizing the offense by stating, Oh, you can’t get pregnant that way. I had to spend the next 20 minutes educating them about basic safety and public health practices. Hopefully I made his birthday.

The #1 thing people would be surprised to know about sex work is: Clients are conservative, everyday professionals. Also, the vast majority of sex workers are not under-aged or trafficked slaves or addicts.

The hardest part about working in a stigmatized profession is: Setting aside the difficulty in talking about work in a public place, and being forced to mask my profession inevitably when someone asks what do you do for a living. Of course not being able to talk about work to family is difficult. The hardest part is being forced underground due to Bill C-36. The bill forces legitimate and professional sex workers to be less safe. It is difficult to procure drivers and security because only those drawn to criminal activities are interested in providing the services. Who would you rather work security at your place of business: a biker/gang member or a corporate security guard? The recent change in legislation here in Canada now prohibits advertisers from accepting or placing my ads! Although it is still legal for us to advertise—what a catch 22. Even advertisers outside of Canada are being forced to decline certain payment methods. The pressure from Illinois’ overzealous Cook County Sheriff (Thomas Dart) has caused credit card companies to remove the ability of Backpage (the number-one advertising forum for my profession) to accept credit cards. That action alone will cause women like myself to use shadowy agents and Bitcoin transactions to continue to source clients and business. This has had a direct impact on my life. You can see how these pressures force women into more dangerous ways of finding clients, some even onto the streets or into the clutches of pimps. Worst of all, the better clients are also shying away from seeing me because what was once legal here in Canada is no longer, that means a worsening quality of client: less respectful and more abusive.

Related: Eden, an Ottawa-Based Sex Worker, Shares Her Story

Sex work is still illegal in many places. My ideal state of affairs for sex work would be: Legalization. We just want to be contributing, tax-paying members of society and step out of the shadows. It would also improve escort safety, public health and potential tax revenue through regulation and licensing. When sex work is out in the open, it is easier to find and and help the trafficked.

A time I was hassled by law enforcement, landlords, or authority figures was: Thankfully, I have remained anonymous, mostly hiding in plain sight at upscale hotels. When I first started climbing my way up the escort ranks from agency work I was approached and harassed by an officer who wanted to “save me.” He told me I was too pretty and smart to do this. I thanked him for his input (what I did was not against the law at that time in Canada; it was legal to both sell and buy sex; now the selling of sex is legal but the buying is not—another catch 22), avoided arrest and thankfully never saw him again. I had a colleague who was outed at her regular hotel to the staff and this caused her a great deal of shame and she was forced into worse accommodations. She was outed by a disgruntled client and her livelihood was adversely affected. This kind of threat hangs over my head constantly.

Dating as a sex worker is: Easy. Steady pool of interested suitors who already know you’re great in bed!

If you have a partner, how do they feel about your career? It surprises most that I have been with a life partner for many years before I started this profession. The decision for me to enter this trade was one we discussed and made together. My partner has been very supportive and, in fact, encouraged me into activism. We are both professionals: my partner is a manager at a medium-sized IT firm and I am in “human resources.” Which makes us an attractive power couple! Sometimes we both joke about bad customers.

My favourite sex worker portrayal in pop culture is: I do not actually have a favourite. All pop culture portrayals I have seen dichotomize sex workers into either victims who need to be saved or women of ill repute who should be reviled. All lead sex worker characters seem to end up transiting from their careers to be housewives saved by men, or they end up dead. Neither represent my experience. The closest might be Irma La Douce, a comedy staring Shirley MacLaine as a happy hooker, but sadly and predictably she has to be saved by a man.

What I would like more people to know about sex work is: That most of us are not victims. That the work we do is essential and valuable to society. It has always been here and always will be. I wish people would get over their hang-ups about sex (but not too much or I might be out of a job).

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