The Aphrodite Project, named for the patron goddess of sex workers, has brought the strategies of sex workers’ past to solving the needs of sex workers today by inventing what can best be described as safety shoes.
Some of the earliest sex workers that would walk the streets, the pornai, wore sandals with tacks in the bottom that spelled out “follow me” to advertise themselves to clients. I wanted to make a contemporary version of these shoes, so I started thinking about sex work and other kinds of shoe hacks that would make sense in the 21st century.
There are now 6 versions of the shoes, each has different modifications and some you can make yourself.
These modifications evolved out of interviews and discussions with current and former sex workers. People didn’t want knives or guns or mace for example, because those things routinely get used against them; instead they just wanted something that would make a really loud noise. The secret compartments are because they get robbed, and can’t go to the police for help; this way they can at least get home and back into their house.
Instructions for making your own Platforms can be found on our DIY site.
An audible alarm system, which makes an incredibly loud noise and can be set off by hitting one shoe against the other
A GPS system for tracking the wearer’s location
Secret compartments for holding keys, money, condoms
Video screens for advertising
More info here.