Anti-prostitution activists, sex worker advocates shared their thoughts on prostitution bill at Canadian senate hearings
After three days of back-to-back witness testimony, a Senate committee wrapped up its pre-study of the government’s proposed prostitution law rewrite by hearing from anti-prostitution activists, sex worker support groups, the owner of a Toronto body rub parlour and the first — and, so far, only — male sex worker to share his thoughts on the proposal in a parliamentary forum.
Maxime Durocher, a male escort who caters exclusively to female clients, was on the final witness panel of the day.
In his opening statement, Durocher said that he has a bachelor’s degree in computers and became an escort after 10 years in that field.
He said he doesn’t understand why the government feels the need to legislate the sexual practices of consulting adults, and challenged the claim that all sex work is inherently exploitive.
“I like my job,” he told the committee.
“Our clients, men and women, are not perverts or criminals, and we are not victims.”
But, he added, the new law would make it even more difficult for sex workers to report violence.
“We don’t need saving, what we need is to be part of society like everyone else,” which, he stressed, means being able to turn to the police for protection.
“If you call the police, they’ll say, ‘Well, you brought a criminal into your bed,'” he told the committee.
Senators heard a similar message from Nicole Matte, who sits on the board of Maggie’s, a Toronto-based support service for sex workers.