We’ve hit 100k!
After our first 50 days, we thought things would start to calm down and we’d been handed back a piece of our sanity. Sadly, we were so very wrong and this month has held steady on intensity. Our focuses this month were strung across legal, our newest project — Tryst, and workshops.
Let’s start with legal.
Running a business around sex work is more difficult than you think
We had anticipated there may be discrimination from US based companies after FOSTA/SESTA. However, we really weren’t ready for what we came up against.
When we launched Switter, lawyers who had knowledge of both sex work, international law and FOSTA/SESTA were ridiculously hard to find. Firms either wouldn’t touch us or they would simply ignore the request.
We finally found a fantastic firm in Australia who took us on with legal counsel in the US. We went through 7 or so meetings with them, played phone tag with the US and finally reached a point where we were fully aware of our risks.
Legal wasn’t the only service difficult to come by — anyone tried international banking in the sex industry? We attempted to go through an Australian Bank as their ethics aligned closer to ours, only to find many a problem. The first being the extended application process for being a “high risk business” the next realizing that they don’t have a SWIFT number.
We won’t go into detail in this post, but this was just the beginning of organization after organization refusing to work with us because of our involvement in the sex industry. We’re talking about donation platforms, payment gateways even freedom of speech orgs blatantly rejecting us.
As we have a background in tech, we thought workshops would be an awesome way to help out workers online especially in the current climate. We’ve begun hosting a series of in-person and online security workshops. We cover social media, hosting, separating your identities, dealing with stolen images, your rights when touring and much more. Our next one will be held online for the folks in the US on July the 3rd if anyone is interested :D We’re also in the middle of working with a very talented Australian worker on another project around online security in the sex industry.
On a local level we’ve start to explore how we can help make a political impact over in Australia. Earlier in the month, chaos swept over Victorian sex workers as the Liberal Party announced their plans for the introduction of the Nordic Model. We decided that this was a topic we should be starting with and did so at a Greens lunch. We chatted about Kathleen Maltzahn’s recent “flip” on the Nordic Model and were reassured that this would remain the stance on the matter. We also met up with Fiona Patten from the Reason Party (aka the Sex Party) to see how she could help with the fight towards decriminalization.
International Sex Workers Day
International Sex Workers Day was an incredible hit with workers from all over the world marching with heads held high. We will continue running the aggregated site for IWD19 and invite anyone who wishes to submit their events for next year to contact us. We’ve also been in touch with Suraj Patel to help how we can with his efforts over in the US to fight FOSTA SESTA.
Introducing our newest project, Tryst: Ethical Advertising for Escorts
In order to keep Switter sustainable, we’ve decided to branch out. As an escort myself, I’m aware of the number of subpar directories out there. Our aim is to rise above and change that.
Although we are only in beta, there are a few key ways we’ll be making a change to how escort advertising is done. We’ll be focusing on creating tools within the platform to make your life easier rather than purely a place to put a few photos. This means providing improved analytics, integration with Switter, and a focus on streamlining your workflow. Making it easier for clients to find you and for you to secure bookings easily.
In the long run, we are hoping to create an online solution which enables you to operate your business without connection to US companies.
A few other ways in which Tryst is different
We use fair pricing models
Regardless of how high or low your rates are, you should only be paying for the value you get from our platform. Our prices are kept low so all demographics can have access to advertising.
We cater to all genders
During building Tryst, we consulted with a number of non binary and trans workers to find out exactly how we can help cater to their side of the sex worker community.
We give back to the community
A portion of the profits, specifically from upgraded paid client accounts, go directly to the community. Whether this is towards workshops or to sex worker orgs, we are dedicated to keep the community strong.
We’re accepting Beta members now so head over to https://tryst.at/sign_up and we can give you a walk through.
On a final note
We’d like to send out a big old thank you again for staying with us on this journey. It’s been an amazing adventure so far and we hope continue well into the future (and the mainstream!)