Words and feature image by Kitty Belle
This piece is an extract from the Red Delicious Collective’s guide for clients of the sex work industry. The Red Delicious Collective acknowledges that privilege and intersectionality create different experiences for workers in Australia, and globally. While this article aims to empower sex workers, Red Delicious Collective are aware that not all workers can select to work in an environment where rights can be sought, or indeed choose to work or not.
Entering a parlour
As you enter a sex work establishment the receptionist is your first point of call. Receptionists are often the backbone of the business, taking on many roles including security. Take the time to show courtesy to your host by wiping your feet, being friendly and well behaved. Look after them and they are sure to look after you.
If a prior booking has not been made, a client will be introduced to the workers available on shift. If you find that you are not interested in seeing a worker who comes to introduce themselves to you, please still be polite; not all workers are for every client but everyone deserves common decency. As introductions are often not obligatory and a transaction has yet to be made, please do not try to be physical with the worker in this time unless otherwise guided.
“Intros [client introductions] are always a little nerve-wracking, meeting a stranger and being looked over and compared to other workers takes some getting used to.”
Tip the worker! Even simply leaving your change really means a lot and is also an indicator that you have enjoyed your booking. For a worker, bringing up services outside the base rate paid is not always easy; some workers don’t want to seem pushy. So don’t be afraid to ask, however, it is not okay to keep asking if what you are after is not on offer.
Keep good hygiene. This includes nice fresh clothes, using cologne (not too much), showering prior to the booking, practising good dental hygiene and using a mint/gum for fresh breath, and making sure genitals and other areas which may contain bacteria are clean.
When the booking has come to a close it is polite to not create so much conversation as to take the worker overtime, as there are likely other bookings for them to attend.
“I have decided to never date my clients as it can easily complicate things, I genuinely appreciate many connections I have formed, but I will never take it further”
Pushing boundaries and consent
It is a worker’s right to feel safe and be treated with respect at work. There is a common assumption amongst clients that workers want to be pleasured as a default. This can lead to non-consensual touching. It is the responsibility of the client to practice consensual interactions with your selected worker. There is no dancing around the subject, unconsented activity is absolutely not on. This is harassment or this can be assault. You may traumatise your worker. Be a good client, ask don’t assume. The worker will most likely charge more for extra services like touching, so come in cashed-up if you know you want to get handsy/need more than just the basics.
It is a worker’s right to select what they are comfortable with providing in a booking, and this may change shift to shift. Don’t come to a booking with an “I’ve paid for you” attitude. You have not paid for the person, you have paid for their services, and all workers provide something different.
“I become extremely uncomfortable when a client starts groping me without my consent, there is a genuine fear of a loss of control of the booking. I then have to be stern and kill the mood, giving less affection because I am uncomfortable. I don’t go to work to be harassed, none of us do.”
Mechanics or florists do not come to work to date, and most workers in the sex industry don’t either. In fact, many are already in healthy, full-time relationships. As most workers would like to keep a professional worker/client relationship, asking for a worker’s number or pressing to see them outside of work only creates an air of awkwardness and may lead to the termination of services.
It is preferable that you don’t ask personal questions like how much a worker makes or how many clients they have seen for the day. This does not need to be exchanged and delves into sensitive information.
Be sure to get regular check-ups at your local sexual health clinic. Workers want to work safely and to limit the spread of STIs. If a worker selects to use personal protective equipment (condoms, gloves, dental dams, etc.) please respect that this is a normal part of minimising the risk of exposure.
If you’d like to read the Red Delicious Collective’s full version of ‘Ethical Tricks: An etiquette guide for clients of the sex industry’, contact Kitty at RedDeliciousCollective@gmail.com.