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The routine is similar to anyone running a home-based business. She advertises, does her own paperwork and monitors what customers say about her services online. Diablo is a sex worker. She uses a pseudonym and asks her clients to use a specific etiquette when visiting her residential neighbourhood. Her supplies include condoms, wipes and fresh sheets. Diablo is among some Victoria sex workers and advocates concerned that prostitution legislation introduced by the federal government last month could make her job even more dangerous and stigmatized.
The proposed legislation makes purchasing sex illegal for the first time in Canada. It also outlaws communicating for the sale or purchase of sex services, advertising sex services in print or online and selling sex anywhere children might be present. As dozens of academics, former sex workers and social organizations testified at a House of Commons justice committee hearing on the bill last week, Diablo shared her concerns at a downtown cafe.
She recognizes that trafficking, addiction and exploitation are a problem in the industry, but said the circumstances that led her to sex work were fairly ordinary. Diablo grew up on the Island. She started waitressing at 15, travelled through Europe in her early 20s and studied social work.
After a bad breakup, she found herself on Craigslist looking in Intimate Encounter — a section of the website for people looking for consensual hook-ups. Instead, she came across an ad soliciting sex work. Some gross ones. But thankfully nothing scary. She now works from home and prefers her clients to be men over 30, polite and clean.
He knows what she does for a living, as do most of her friends and her parents. Some of her old friends were also upset. She plans to work for 10 years, pay down her loans and save some money. Bisette blogs about sex work issues. Criminalizing clients makes it very difficult for us to safely screen them and negotiate with them. Bisette argues one of the most damaging stereotypes about sex workers is that they are radically different from other people.