Dear Fannie,

I'm a young gay guy in Montreal, Quebec. I've always been partial to the sexually liberated, and many of my friends are very open about their sexuality. I have a few friends who have done some sex work in the past and I've been thinking about pursuing some sex work myself. The problem is I don't know where to start! What kind of rules are there in sex work? Is it legal? How much should I charge? Where do I find johns?

Considering in

Thanks for a such a great question, Considering! Sex work is a touchy subject, especially amongst feminists who tend to fuel adamantly opposing camps of anti- or pro-sex trade sentiments. I am pro-sex work, but there are a lot of problems with how sex work currently works, especially for street sex work. I've decided to address this question with a multi-part How-To Guide to Sex Work intended for all genders. Note: This post does not address the legality of sex work in various parts of the world. Before engaging in sex work, be sure to read up on relevant state and federal laws.

Part I: Learning the Ropes

There are wrong ways and right ways to enter sex work. One thing to avoid at all costs: PIMPS. While the pimping of male sex workers (MSWs) is relatively rare, the majority of female street sex workers (FSWs) work under the supervision of pimps. Popular opinion situates the pimp-sex worker relationship as a mutually beneficial relationship where sex workers offer a cut of their earnings in exchange for the protection and networking skills of pimps. This is not the case for the majority of these relationships. Pimps are entrepreneurs who typically view their sex workers as products to be exploited for an easy stream of revenue with low cost. Further, I strongly recommend against doing street sex work, as street work has high incidences of violence and homicide against sex workers.

The ideal way to approach sex work is where the sex worker is one's own manager (read: sex worker as entrepreneur). Now, Considering in Quebec: being a potential male sex worker you have a certain privilege because self-managed sex work is the norm for MSWs. For all the potential FSWs or Transgender SWs out there, be your own manager! In this age of information and telecommunication, there isn't a need to have a pimp to do your scouting work for you. The best way to do sex work is through wonderful world of the internet. There are several websites which one can post adverts featuring the sexual services one is providing. and are examples

Always be very clear when negotiating with a client exactly what kind of services he or she expects and what the price for those services will be (please note that the vast majority of clients out there are male). I'll go into negotiations later. In terms of venues, it really depends on the situation. Usually, work is split in between incalls and outcalls. Incalls are when the worker receives the client at the worker's home or apartment. Outcalls involve traveling to a location of the client's desire, usually a hotel or the client's home. Sex workers usually charge more money for outcalls, which may weigh into your decision on what kind of work to do. To give you a general idea of how much to charge, I consulted a good friend of mine who currently is doing sex work with his boyfriend. For outcalls he charges $200 per hour. "Meeting a client usually entails chatting, kissing, massage, oral sex and some hand. Anal if it's pre-agreed on, but I don't usually do anal with clients. I'll only consider it if he's a regular client of mine; and always safe."

Sex work can be a very rewarding occupation, and a great way to give your wallet that extra push. It's very possible to hold a "normal" job and do sex work on the side to augment your income. Stay tuned next week for How-to Guide to Sex Work pt. 2: Doing the Deed.

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