man styles his hair


Staying safe


No amount of money is worth risking your safety. There is specific safety advice depending on how, where and when you are sex working, whether it’s in a brothel, on the street, independently, or in a club.  

Here are a few tips for staying safe:

  • Trust your instincts - your instincts are your best friend. By getting high, drunk or stoned when working, your instincts will be impaired.
  • Try to avoid drugs and alcohol when you are working.
  • Avoid working where your mobile has little or no reception
  • Stay alert - if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust yourself and get out of the situation.
  • Locate an exit - ensure you know where the exit is and how to get out quickly if you need to.
  • Be clear - be friendly but firm with clients. If you both know exactly what you are agreeing to, and for what price, things are less likely to go sour.
  • Stay firm - be firm with what you’re prepared to do and your prices. If you show a client you’ll negotiate, they may try and push you too far.
  • Be sure what you are taking - if a client offers you any drink/food/drugs, make sure it has not been tampered with and do not take anything your client isn’t also taking.
  • Be careful with protection devices - remember that personal protection devices (like attacker sprays) can be used against you.
  • Know the area - if you are going to work in a new area, find out how you could get out in an emergency - where are the bus stops? Research a local mini cab number etc.
  • Stay mobile - always ensure your phone is charged and has credit!
  • Dial 999 - if you are in an emergency, don’t forget that dialling 999 is free from any phone and for a non-emergency you can call 101 to speak to the police.
  • Looks can be deceiving - just because someone looks and sounds respectable, it doesn’t mean they are.
  • Use a buddy system - set up a ‘buddy system’ so someone knows where and when you’re working. Let them know when you have bookings and check in with them after the booking.
  • Use a code word - have a code word with your buddy/co-worker, so you can alert them to danger discreetly without arousing suspicion.
  • Use cameras - have cameras installed where you work. If you are on the streets, take down the car registration and text it to a friend.
  • Be alarmed - carry an alarm or have a few hidden in the flat.
  • Be cash careful - don’t keep large sums of cash in the flat but do have a small amount to bribe an intruder if necessary.
  • Keep your clothes close - if you are working inside, leave your clothes in one place where you can grab them quickly if need be.
  • Use Ugly Mugs - Sign up to the Ugly Mugs scheme.
  • Save Ugly Mugs - Save the numbers of Ugly Mugs (bad punters) or potential Ugly Mugs on your phone so you know not to answer in future.


These are just some tips to bear in mind. The UK Network for Sex Worker Projects (UKNSWP) has an excellent more in-depth guide to safety that you can download here.

Last review: 25/09/2014

Next review: 25/09/2017