Proposed solution: bringing light to the sex industry

11 07 2009

Social Value Proposition:  to destigmatize sex work by providing a forum (i.e. magazine) for the diverse voices of individuals working in the sex industry.

Our proposed solution is a magazine to create a space for sex workers to speak for themselves.  This idea came from a magazine published in New York in 2004 – $PREAD magazine.

This magazine’s editorial mission is “to publish any perspective about the sex industry as long as it is the view of a current or former sex worker.  This is a forum for sex workers to write articles, submit photographs, and create art without censorship or the threat of moral backlash.”

We feel that a magazine like this is transferable solution to address violence against sex trade workers in Vancouver.

This magazine speaks to the general public as a way to:

  • promote protection of sex workers
  • generate buzz and awareness – make the invisible social problem visible (i.e. violence against sex workers is a real problem)
  • de-stigmatize sex work
  • make this an open problem to educate the general public
  • address health issues involved
  • engage and empower sex workers in a meaningful and on-going project
  • eliminate violence against sex workers

This magazine publishes feature-length articles with a focus on personal experiences and political insights and provide practical information like news, health reports, and resources. Original illustrated artwork by sex workers as well as photo essays illuminate all aspects of the sex industry from an insider’s/first-person’s perspective.

Target Audience

  • young adults
  • women
  • clients (men engaged in purchasing sex)


  • All over Vancouver particularly transit locations
  • Newspaper stands
  • Universities (e.g. Women’s Centre)
  • Community centres
  • WISH drop-in centre

Funding & Capital


  • Volunteers (for staffing photographers, artists, writers, promotion)
  • Partnerships with P.A.C.E, WISH, educational institutes (i.e. SFU Women’s Centre)
  • Engage and involve former or current sex workers
  • Support of subscribers, contributors, and donors


  • Subscribers and donors (e-donors)
  • Advertisements* in the magazine
  • Sponsors from businesses for distribution, marketing or monetary donations

*Sex workers are one of the few consumer markets with a significant disposable income (non-survival type) that remains untapped by most advertisers.


  • buzz marketing
  • Online marketing (e.g. facebook, twitter, forums, blogging)
  • word-of-mouth
  • maximize exposure = distribute free copies on busy streets such as Robson Street, or at universities and high schools

Sex sells right?  The topic itself should generate much public interest so buzz marketing and word-of-mouth can effectively advertise this magazine.