As the prostitution industry grapples with the recession, prostitutes in Canada are gearing up for the next big thing: The 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
While the athletes are practicing their skating, skiing and bobsledding skills, prostitutes in Canada are also training for the big event.
No, they’re not honing those skills, they’re refining their media-savvy skills.
A Canadian agencythat provides support for Vancouver’s sex workers (Remember, prostitution is quasi-legal in Canada) is working up a brochure — hey, I read it for the articles — to prep them on how to handle requests for photographs and interviews, Canadian media are reporting.
"We just want our members to feel safe,” Kerry Porth, a spokeswoman for the Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education Society (PACE) told the Canadian Press. “Media attention to the area can be a little less than compassionate and we don't want them to feel like animals in a zoo."
Tracy Quan, a former call girl and author of "Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl,"said there's a tendency for people to get really excited when the press pays attention to them. Particularly for sex workers, who thrive on attention.
"This is one of the fatal flaws of being a sex worker: We tend to be very narcissistic people. We're used to the idea that, if someone pays attention to us, it's fun. It's nice," Quan explained.
"We need to realize that when the media is paying attention to you, it's different than when a person with a sexual appetite pays attention to you," the former being a more honest form of attention, she said. With media, they run the risk of being manipulated.
Quan says women working in the industry should really think twice about doing a media interview. They need to go in knowing what they want from the interview, and be ready to bail if it's not going the way they want it to.
"I'm not even sure why someone working in the sex industry would want to talk to the press. What would be their incentive?" Quan asked. It's not like they're selling cars or running a bank, where they need the press.
The PACE brochure will inform the Canadian sex workers of their rights, such as where they can be photographed, and provide them with some tips on how to deal with aggressive media types, including letting them know that it’s OK to refuse an interview.
If you’ve ever seen a pack of wild paparazzi on the hunt, you know this will be an invaluable resource — They’re the real wild animals in this story.
Ladies, don’t forget to bring your whips!
Pony Treats (Seriously, they're legal):
A Nice, Warm Bed. While exchanging sex for money is legal in Canada, operating a brothel is not. (That's the quasi part.) A group of prostitute activists is trying to get that changed so they can open a brothel in time for the Olympics, offering the ladies a safe place to conduct business during the games, the Canadian Press reports.
The Ultimate Recession-Buster: As the bloom starts to come off the economic-recovery rose, Nick Gillespie of Reason.com has an idea: Why not legalize (and tax) drugs, prostitution and gamblingto dig us out of this recession?
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