I’m on the college streetcar with a big full of dildos and lube.
A box with the words “SEX & KINK” in bold, black ink peaks out of the top of the bag; It holds lace lingerie. Feminist porn floats around in the parcel, colliding with condoms and leaflets.
It’s not what you think; I’m not on my way to visit a client. Instead I am headed to Maggie’s Sex Worker Action Project—a nonprofit run by and for sex workers that lives just off of Parliament on Gerrard. Maggie’s Toronto has just recently launched a crowdfunding campaign across the nation. And they’ve contracted me to do the job.
The goodies in the bag are from Good For Her, a sex-positive product store and educative learning centre located in the heart of the Annex. They have provided me with some products to give to our donors who support the Maggie’s cause. This action doesn’t differ too much from what being a sex worker was actually like during my time as a paid purveyor of pleasure—a bag full of salacious goods, gratification on the other end of the trip (but at this point in my life it’s more of a business deal than the money shot), the exchange of goods for services. Which is where I feel Maggie’s operates from: a place where sex work is real work, and the physical labor you do at your barista or bartending job doesn’t differ much from the physical labor of making a client sexually aroused and satisfied.
Maggie’s is a nonprofit that is truly one of a kind; Having served the Toronto community for more than a decade plus, Maggie’s has made great strides in providing vital, much needed support and resources for sex workers of all types all across Toronto. Furthermore, Maggie’s has become known as a fierce defender and fighter for the rights of sex workers to access healthy and safe work environments, as well as for the legalization of sex work through multi-level political lobbying and organizing; Maggie’s community members have organised more than a few good old fashioned marches over the years.
While Maggie’s services are so crucial to the community, the nonprofit is facing a budget crunch in their attempt to improve and expand their services. Maggie’s hosts a weekly Lounge drop-in where sex workers can get resources regarding safe practice, books for leisurely study and most importantly a supportive community to rally around their experiences, struggles and aspirations. Maggie’s is also a mainstay of street outreach, with a comprehensive outreach program that is in dire need of expansion to ensure that the needs of our community members are met.
As the contracted organizer of this campaign I have been able to establish wicked sponsorships with some amazing programs, publications and stores in Toronto and in Canada. The list includes FLURT magazine, Good For Her, Come As You Are, The Art of Blowjob, Sybian Toronto and much more. These fabulous partners are committed to sex-positivity and empowerment, which aligns them with the Maggie’s mission of sex workers defining their own destinies and their own lives.
Check out the campaign here. Share it with friends, loved ones, enemies and of course, lovers.