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Is there a human trafficking problem in Ottawa?

I ask only because:

  • Why would women be providing extras and customers accepting extras? It isn't safe, and we're supposed to be entertainers not glorified side chicks. Meaning part of being an entertainer is respecting that may of our customers are married men and not to incur the wrath of an upset wife.. I may be a little superstitious here but I have spoken to some of these wives and they tell me that boundaries are important to them. They don't mind the entertainment as long as their nuptials are being respected.. extras are taking it too far.
  • I see a lot of shady comments about tattoos, piercings, body mods in general including enhancements, and size. I can only imagine identifying markers being a problem in an area with lots of traffic because "it's harder to kidnap fat women" or simply to traffic women who would be recognized because of their body shape, enhancements, hair styles, tats, or piercings..
  • I won't get into specifics but I've been told by certain owners and managers that I am not allowed to work in their club because I don't have a "man" which is code for a P.I. Usually they try to give me strange reasons about my skin color or size, when there are plenty of other dancers with my skin tone or who are much heavier and may be shaped not as proportionately or tall as I am. The same clubs that I've worked at when I was much heavier, the only difference being I had a "man". One might wonder how it benefits owners or managers to be apart of this, but with our private lap dance system (instead of a public money-shower type floor dance system like some clubs abroad) there can be nights when a dancer might make more money than the bar. So if the dancers are drunk or way too high and sit at the bar all night drinking their profits then it does benefit the establishment.
  • I've also had veteran dancers try to hook me up with a "man', and upon seeing that I declined they would then attempt to have me barred or disrupt my clean profits.
  • I say Ottawa might have a human trafficking problem, because I know the city doesn't have a money problem. From what I've experienced and seen, there are many generous men and couples. However, they don't want to support dancers with no goals, or dancers and entertainers who would give away what they should be keeping.. 
  • I've had women try to fight with me or otherwise be very unwelcoming to see simply because I never offer extras and still averaged about $2,000 a night. Sometimes earning without getting up from the table, or from very generous tips.  

 

I've been a dancer for 4 years now, going on 5 years, and I've always found good, reliable, and trustworthy customers despite what's happening to other dancers. However, I just can't help but to wonder and ask.. especially because I just can't understand the extras problem. 

Is it more of a there is a human trafficking problem, but some entertainers and customers just can't face it? Because why else would anyone think it is normal to have extras in a place of business? Why are strippers everywhere else not doing extras and are doing amazing for themselves, meanwhile my co-workers are looking and behaving like so.

 

 

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Yes it's a problem in Ottawa and in many other Canadian cities.

The simplest thing we can do is support independent providers. And when you see something, report it.

There plenty of anonymous websites and hotlines(like "Crime Stoppers") to safely report those illegal activities and abuse.

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On 12/16/2020 at 12:16 PM, Greenteal said:

Yes it's a problem in Ottawa and in many other Canadian cities.

The simplest thing we can do is support independent providers. And when you see something, report it.

There plenty of anonymous websites and hotlines(like "Crime Stoppers") to safely report those illegal activities and abuse.

Some great ways to support independent providers would be:

  • Call clubs and request us/ask if we're working.
  • Telling a member of staff when a dancer is too intoxicated and can no longer drink safely. So that dancer can get home safely rather than stay and maybe make bad decisions.
  • Not dancing with women who provide extras in the club. 
  • Call clubs and request us/ask if we're working.
  • Letting staff know if a dancer is providing extras in the club. 
  • It's okay to ask questions about the clubs policies. For example, how many of your dancers have a backup plan in place? How is the club ensuring that they have savings and a way out of the fast life? Does the club only employ clean dancers? It's great when customers show interest because it's more meaningful coming from people who spend.
  • Reviewing business plans. It's okay to get all up in the clubs business!! Customers should enjoy their experience there, so feel confident to tell the clubs what they want to see!
  • Call clubs and request us/ask if we're working.
  • Alerting crime stoppers is like the very last and I think unnecessary step, because I think most independent providers just don't know. I never want to see providers being incarcerated because all of us as a community were unable to care for them. That just isn't fair and I suspect that may be why there aren't that many entertainers in the clubs.

 

It's probably easy for clubs to become overwhelmed and just fire somebody or call crime stoppers. But we can't do that, because safety is our number one priority. I think many owners start clubs and underestimate what may go into running them from behind the scenes. It means having de-escalation plans, good security and bouncers, active listening workshops and certificates for staff, being primed and aware of what sex trafficking may look like, even calculating how much money girls need to make because 20$ a song is not a lot when we start our shifts anywhere from $90-$200 in debt from drivers and dj fees. 

I just don't like to see customers making fun of girls for not having the best outfits, nails, or hair, when they're paying dirt cheap prices for entertainment. And often times frequenting the club to chill and not paying anything at all besides complaining about a slightly overpriced beer. When in most places a customer wouldn't even be able to order a beer or to sit around not dancing. They only have the choice of ordering bottles, and they are ushered out just like any other place of business if they're not interested in compensating the dancers. 

 

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  I think we got very different definitions of what human trafficking is.

  From what I understand, you're talking about exploited/underpaid performers. When human trafficking as more to do with young women(often from abroad) working as SW's against their will.

   Not quite the same.

 

Edited by Greenteal

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18 hours ago, Greenteal said:

  I think we got very different definitions of what human trafficking is.

  From what I understand, you're talking about exploited/underpaid performers. When human trafficking as more to do with young women(often from abroad) working as SW's against their will.

   Not quite the same.

 

 

not at all, I completely understand what sex trade trafficking is, it's one of three main types of human trafficking, the others being forced labor, and domestic servitude, i'm elaborating on that, and stating that sex trade trafficking is not only a one way lane, -- which is the type of traffic you're describing, i'm expanding, and bringing awareness, because, while what you're describing is one part of sex trade trafficking, it can also happen vice versa, this means that women who initially were consenting sw's can be forced into other types of sw against their will or coerced, -- such as escort -> porn, or dancing -> escorting, or massage -> dancing, vice versa, additionally, i've seen consenting sw's be exploited into drugs, or other stuff, and eventually those girls disappear from the clubs all together, so, not quite the same, -- worse actually, moreover, being underpaid actually makes it easier to be exploited, this is because being underpaid means,

  • unreliable transportation,
  • unreliable lodging, 
  • unreliable food & water, 

the clubs mentioned in my other post, ensure that dancers who have been working for at least one year have all of that, and a long term plan for retirement, and see to it that their plans manifest, their dancers live in private buildings, or penthouses, drive nice, reliable, safe cars, with good credit, and are able to transform into productive and contributing members of the economy, I just don't see any excuse as to why Ottawa should be any different, or less aware, so, when anyone comes looking for extras, or is sipping the same beer for hours, or is not dancing, or ordering bottles sees dancers, and vice versa staff becoming vexed, or feeling sad as to why your favourite strip clubs are not open, remember this post, lastly, us dancers, and escorts have already been having these conversations behind closed doors, I just took it upon myself to bring it up on this forum to at least spark some more interest, by expanding the awareness and elaborating on the dialogue to the issue, it is on the up and up, definitely better than when I first began dancing, so, this is just me try to encourage everybody, and to keep up the good work, and maybe help speed it up a bit, by typing in plain text, because, I really didn't think my post would take of like this, I was fully prepared to be told that I just have an overactive imagination, and all is well, because I never dreamed I would encounter these situations when I began working, since I still consider myself new to the industry, but the more research I do, and converse with dancers here, and abroad, I have a better idea of what I've been seeing, and only wish I had posted on this public forum, where anyone passing through can get an idea of the issues, sooner, which likely would've helped speed up the dialogue, and bring awareness quicker, but nonetheless I'm really impressed with the response, and that people have actually been inboxing me, and completely open to the idea, that maybe we could all be doing more, I can only speak from a dancers point of view, because I've never done massage, and I haven't escorted in like three years, due to simply discovering new relationship boundaries with myself, and not being asked or coerced to, and also just realizing I'm better at dancing, and make more money as a dancer, and most importantly I have more fun as a dancer, being surrounded by a group of girls, and not alone, with everybody seeing me, and listening to me, and my experiences, and versa, hopefully this helps to shed some light, and make life easier for some sw's because it's better if more people become aware to the changing face of what it may look like,

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3 hours ago, victoriamayottawa said:

i've seen consenting sw's be exploited into drugs, or other stuff, and eventually those girls disappear from the clubs all together,

   I agree this part can be defined as human trafficking/exploitation and such practice should be reported.

   But the rest is not much different from the struggle of most minimal wage workers. Slowly climbing echelons for better wages, work conditions and benefits is not unique to the sex industry.

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4 minutes ago, Greenteal said:

   I agree this part can be defined as human trafficking/exploitation and such practice should be reported.

   But the rest is not much different from the struggle of most minimal wage workers. Slowly climbing echelons for better wages, work conditions and benefits is not unique to the sex industry.

So you’re suggesting the sex industry is akin to working for minimum wage? Why would any of us strip or escort if we could keep our clothes on, and not risk our safety for the same price...

The whole reason people begin this type of work is to make more money, not to make minimum wage or less. If that’s the case, all clubs might as well close. 
 

The sex industry is the oldest profession, at this point we should be beyond slowly climbing haha. Kinda sad because the work has literally already been done. There’s really no excuse. 

Edited by victoriamayottawa

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Just now, victoriamayottawa said:

So you’re suggesting the sex industry is akin to working for minimum wage? Why would any of us strip or escort if we could keep our clothes on, and not risk our safety for the same price...

The whole reason people begin this type of work is to make more money, not to make minimum wage or less. If that’s the case, all clubs might as well close. 

   That wasn't my point. Was talking about work conditions. You were talking about "unreliable transportation, unreliable lodging, unreliable food & water," something most people on the brink of poverty are dealing with.

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7 minutes ago, Greenteal said:

   That wasn't my point. Was talking about work conditions. You were talking about "unreliable transportation, unreliable lodging, unreliable food & water," something most people on the brink of poverty are dealing with.

Yeah that’s exactly what I’m saying. The lack of awareness and willingness to stand up for independent sws and non independent sws means that some of the non independent sws are literally on the brink of poverty. 
 

That’s exactly what I’m saying. I know it’s hard to believe that our lifestyle isn’t all glitz and glam and that we actually *gasp* have to work to keep the lights on lol. That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Customers would really be surprised at what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s really sad and disheartening to witness what’s really happening in Ottawa, on some days. You wouldn’t believe it unless you were to see for yourself. However, customers are not allowed in the locker rooms so you never would. It’s basically he say she say, and I have no reason to lie. Just trying to bring attention to what I think is an important issue. 

Edited by victoriamayottawa

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2 minutes ago, victoriamayottawa said:

Yeah that’s exactly what I’m saying. The lack of awareness and willingness to stand up for independent sws and non independent sws means that some of them are literally on the brink of poverty. 
 

That’s exactly what I’m saying. I know it’s hard to believe that our lifestyle isn’t all glitz and glam and that we actually *gasp* have to work to keep the lights on lol. That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Customers would really be surprised at what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s really sad and disheartening to witness what’s really happening in Ottawa, on some days. You wouldn’t believe it unless you were to see for yourself. However, customers are not allowed in the locker rooms so you never would. It’s basically he say she say, and I have no reason to lie. Just trying to bring attention to what I think is an important issue. 

   I get your point. But too many need to learn the hard way before taking a solid grip on their livelihood.

 I always favor independent SW's but I won't tell adults how to manage their own lives. Better to lean themselves and find better work conditions elsewhere.

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On 12/15/2020 at 5:15 AM, victoriamayottawa said:

Is there a human trafficking problem in Ottawa?

The short answer to your question is 'Yes it is a problem in Ottawa. 'It's a problem in strip clubs, massage parlors, cam modelling sites, hotels, motels, condos, air bnb's and on many well traveled streets throughout the city. Please note that I'm in no way conflating consensual sexual service providers with sex trafficking victims. 

There's a lot to unpack regarding this topic but I can state unequivocally that dancers with pimps are very common in virtually every strip club in Ontario. The problem is that many dancers don't identify themselves as being trafficked because they have a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with their pimp. Moreover, while there are a few clubs that try to screen out girls with pimps, many other clubs are complicit by turning a blind eye to girls with pimps.

I'll leave the entertainer vs. sex worker debate for another time. Performing extras in the VIP room may or may not be a personal choice. For independent girls it is a choice and a line that they're willing to cross and they keep all of the $$$$ they make. However, for girls that are being pimped,  more often than not they'll have a nightly quota which can be as high as $1000/shift and they keep only a portion of that if anything at all. Failure to make quota usually has punitive consequences such as assault, food & sleep deprivation among other things. 

It's difficult to address this with a dancer and you need to be very careful bringing the subject up with the club owners, staff or worse yet with the boyfriend/pimp; both for your own safety as well as the dancer that you suspect might be being trafficked. I can't over emphasize this enough.
 
This may sound far fetched and rare but I can assure you that it is neither! Several of my closest friends are current or former dancers or sex workers in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario so the information that I've characterized here comes directly from them sharing their personal experiences with me. 

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I would like to see Independent dancers advertise in the dance area.  I miss a couple of dancers Like Candy and Seven, it was more their personalities that I liked. And the hugs I got.   Their are a couple of others I like but can't remeber their names.

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