Glossary of Terms

The following is a list of commonly used terms and definitions related to sex work.

Bad Date, Bad Trick: When a john/trick/date becomes violent. This is all encompassing, whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

Bath House: A place where gay men go to have anonymous sex. Male hustlers and their clients frequent these establishments.

Bawdy House: An indoor place where sex work takes place.

Brothel: A house, apartment, or other property where sexual services are sold.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Includes both the direct use of children for sex and the use of children in sexual images (pornography).

Decriminalization: The removal of laws relating to communicating and bawdy houses as offences in the criminal code.  No other laws at the federal, provincial or municipal level should be introduced.

Exiting: The process of transition the person undergoes as they distance themselves from work in the sex industry and/or sex trade.

Experiential: Individuals who self identify as peoples who are currently, or have in the past supported themselves in part or in full through paid labor in sex work.

Exploitation: Taking advantage of an inequality (i.e. poverty, homelessness, etc.) through force, fraud, coercion, power, finances or exchange.

Hustler: Term often used for male sex workers.

John, Trick, Date, Customer, and Client: Someone who trades or buys sexual services.

Legalization: Permitting prostitution under regulated conditions for example, government control over the lives and businesses of those who work as sex workers.

LGBT: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.

Massage Parlour/Body Rub: An establishment where men can purchase a massage with a hand release.

Pimp: A person who manipulates and/or controls and uses power over a sex worker for profit.

Prohibition: A legal approach that aims to eliminate all forms of paid sex through making prostitution or certain activities associated with prostitution illegal.

Stroll, Corner, Track: Well known areas where customers look to buy sexual services – they are usually separated into female, male, youth/kiddy, or transgendered. They are often sub-divided into drug using and non-using, high and low tracks (cost of date or service).

Sex Industry: All encompassing forms of sex work such as web cams, cyber sex, dancing, massage, S&M, pornography etc.

Sex Work: Specific to the work in the sex trade and/or sex industry.

Sex Worker: A sex worker is someone who works in the sex trade and/or sex industry. (Derogatory words and phrases of the past are: prostitute, hooker, whore, ho, scarlet, streetwalker)

Sexually Exploited Youth: Youth or children that are under the age of 18 years old.

Survival Sex: Anyone who can’t exercise their right to refuse performing sexual acts for food, shelter, drugs, money, or any other survival necessities.

Trafficking: In “peoples” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery.

Transgender: Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses those who trans-identified themselves as: transsexuals (TS, pre-op, post-op), transvestites (TV), crossdressers (CD), male to female (M-F or M2F), female to male (F-M or F2M), tranny, she male, drag queen, drag king and two spirited.

Trick Pad: A place where someone is kept against their will and is forced to have repeated sex with many different johns, often secluded and well disguised, usually run by pimps. This word has also come to mean a place where a sex worker will take their dates.