Sex work is work.

People who do sex work are sex workers. Using reflective, accurate terminology will help to reduce the stigma and discrimination that sex workers may experience.

Safer Sex

When you visit a sex worker, condoms are used for safer sex (oral, vaginal and anal). It is common practice for sex workers to only offer safer sex services. Sex workers might also use dams for oral sex, or gloves for digital penetration.

If you have asked for ‘natural’ or ‘bareback’ services (services without a barrier protection method such as condoms) and a sex worker says no, you have their answer, and this is the end of the conversation. Do not attempt to coerce a sex worker into changing their boundaries. If a sex worker has discussed use of barrier protection (such as condoms) and you remove the barrier protection during sex without their explicit consent, this is sexual assault and is a crime.

If you ask for a service without a condom or other barrier method, you will not be protected from sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and blood borne viruses (BBVs). You can find more information about STIs and BBVs at Stay STI Free (an initiative of the Victorian Sexual Health Network).

If you are sexually active, it is recommended that you regularly get tested for STIs. You should attend for an STI test if you;

  • have a new sexual partner,
  • have symptoms,
  • have had a barrier method fail (e.g. a condom break),
  • have been informed by a sexual partner that you might have been exposed to an STI.

All Victorians, including the clients of sex workers, have responsibilities under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to prevent the spread of infectious diseases which includes STIs and BBVs.

Expectations for clients of sex workers:

  • You are polite, respectful (and relaxed!).
  • Your body is fresh and clean (don’t be offended when the sex worker performs a brief health check or asks you to shower, this is standard practice).
  • You are not out of it, on drugs or alcohol.
  • You recognise that each sex worker has their own limits (e.g., kissing on the mouth may not be possible).
  • You both agree about the service beforehand. Clearly communicate what you want and find out the cost. Under Victorian criminal law (Crimes Act 1958 – Section 36AA), it is considered sexual assault if you don’t pay a sex worker for a service. This is a crime, and you may be prosecuted if you do this.
  • You always respect a sex worker’s requirements around the use of condoms/dams and lube for all sexual contact.
  • If a disagreement does arise, remain reasonable and keep things in perspective.

External content for sex work clients

Sex Workers Explain the Difference Between a Good and a Bad Client (video)
– The Archive via Youtube

A First-time Client’s Guide to Escort Booking Etiquette
– Georgie Wolf via Tryst

Guide to Visiting a Brothel
– Miss Smut Buttons

How to be the Perfect Strip Club Guest
– Gabi Lardies via The Spinoff

Stay STI Free
– Victorian Sexual Health Network

Disability referrals

RhED can support and refer you to disability friendly sex workers and brothels, talk about accessing services and share tips on how to make your booking pleasurable. You can also contact Touching Base for disability-friendly service providers in Victoria and nationally.

Brothels in Victoria – view

For more information phone RhED 1800 458 752 or email