As Covid rears its ugly head again in the form of a new more contagious mutation, we are all forced to go back into lockdown to help prevent the spread until the vaccine is distributed fully and businesses around the world who rely on face to face contact are forced to close their doors, maybe for good this time. While some will have help from the government in terms of loans and breaks in repayments etc, what about the millions of people who are a part of the sex industry and have no such security as an employee of a company?
A mass of people all having to apply for benefits at once because there is no possible way of continuing their work at home. Sure an escort may be able to provide an online service at a discounted rate but the majority of their income was made through face-to-face in-calls and without that she cannot hope to survive on virtual earnings alone. Let’s face it, it’s not like the government will furlough escorts so onto Universal Credit thousands of people will go.
Brothels in places where it is legal will have shut their doors, illegal ones too, especially as the risk is now not just getting caught but people’s health. The workers who had somewhere to ply their trade have now become essentially unemployed as they cannot work from home!
While big swinging clubs and strip clubs etc can move a lot of their business online in the form of webcam chats, virtual sex parties, pornographic shows etc and earn money that way, the smaller businesses and individuals may not have the presence online to make themselves seen and end up having to let go of their premises due to not being able to pay for it leading to a close of business.
Charities have been set up to raise awareness of sex workers and the fact that they do not have access to any financial help caused by the pandemic because their choice of work was not considered real work due to legality issues. Thousands of escorts who work from home are left with the choice of trying to claim benefits as unemployed or continue seeing clients at the risk of their health to make ends meet. Considering a lot of escorts are single mothers, that is a risk that many of them will take to keep the heating on this winter.
If sex work is decriminalised then the right protection and help for sex workers could be put in place for situations such as now.