Here are some tips for sex workers who come into sex shops (please note this does not apply to all sex workers/sex shops).
- Welcome! Sex shops, or at least my work/progressive ones, are open spaces for all types of workers, whether you are a doctor, a rabbi, a Starbucks employee, whatever! Everyone is sexual, therefore, everyone (over 18+) is welcome!
- Let us know you are in the industry! Or not! Your choice! The title "sex worker" can be placed on various types of work (which I talk about in previous posts). Whether you are a prostitute, a sex therapist, a pro domme, a stripper, a go go dancer, a sex educator, or a behind the scenes cameraman for porn, if you identify as a sex worker and want to tell us, go ahead! If you don't want, you don't have to! We never question our customers about their occupation, nor judge them on what they purchase.
- Feel free to ask questions that pertain to your job. Often times people come in with specific questions or are looking for items that are for their work. For example, I have helped sex therapists find good reference books for certain topics, or have shown cam girls certain toys that their viewers have requested. We are prepared for most questions, and if we don't know, we will refer you to someone who does.
- Feel free to ask vague questions that don't give out information about your work. Like I said before, you don't need to tell us about your occupation. And if you ask a vague question, we aren't going to delve into why you asked.
- Some sex shops give a sex worker discount. Feel free to ask, it never hurts. If the shop does give a discount (like my work) we won't ask what type of sex work you do. Identifying as a sex worker is enough to get a discount.
- While we welcome blunt interactions, please don't over share. At times I find that some sex workers get either too comfortable or too awkward in sex shops, which leads to over share. While this can be applied to non-sex worker customers as well, I have found that sex workers especially try to over share their sexual knowledge with us. Maybe it's because they are exited to be in a sex positive space, or maybe they want to show off their product knowledge, but honestly, it can get uncomfortable. I've had sex workers come in and start talking about themselves in very intimate ways that borders on non-consent. Working in the sex industry doesn't mean that you need to be crude or over share to everyone else who identifies as a sex worker. While I'm all for "sister-solidarity" I sometimes feel violated when people tell me more than I need to know on the job.
- Please leave the sex shop education to the sex shop worker. Sex shops are an intimate place where people come for some personal shopping. While some people are okay with strangers telling them about products, as a sex shop worker I prefer that you don't. Please leave the education to me, since this is what my job is and this is what I am here for.
- If you have clients, you are welcome to bring them in. Just please do not session with them in the shop. This is a safe space for all, and some people are not comfortable with public sexual acts. But feel free to bring them in and shop around and we will be glad to help!