Charles Cilliers
2 minute read
15 Mar 2020
12:44 pm

Sex workers complain business already down in SA because of Covid-19

Charles Cilliers

Aside from last week's stock market plunge and the cancellation of most major sport and entertainment events, another less obvious casualty of the fears around being infected with Covid-19 is the sex industry.

Picture: iStock

Several sex workers interviewed by Sunday World told the tabloid their client numbers had declined this week as people were suddenly more fearful of making human contact.

Most people no longer shake hands in the country, while taxi drivers and others in industries that expose their workers to high volumes of people have called on government to provide them with face masks.

The Citizen made contact with two massage parlours on Sunday to ask them how business has been going, and both venues agreed they were seeing less traffic, though it was not substantial. However, they were concerned it could become a major trend.

One receptionist told us: “We’re not sure what we’ll do if this keeps up.”

In New Zealand, sex work is more openly discussed since the industry is legal there. The country has reportedly also seen a drop in client numbers.

Stuff reports that some sex workers had clients stay away due to coronavirus fears, “although for others the past weeks had been business as usual”.

The website reported that in the UK, the Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement started a hardship fund for sex workers in financial crisis due to Covid-19.

One person interviewed suggested that sex workers could move from in-person appointments to cam work or Skype sessions.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown in Italy since Monday, one of the world’s biggest porn sites offered Italians free access to its premium content until April 3, and it’s possible this initiative might extend to other countries as lockdowns have been implemented throughout Europe and, increasingly, the rest of the world.

In a statement on Thursday, the site said: “Pornhub has decided to donate [a] percentage of proceeds for the month of March to the Modelhub platform to help Italy during this emergency. To keep you company during these weeks at home, for the whole month you will have free access to Pornhub Premium, without the need for a credit card.”

Italy ranked seventh in Pornhub’s top 20 countries by traffic in 2019, with the US, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada and France taking the first five spots.

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