By Own Correspondent
Recently the government imposed a dusk to dawn curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19. A development that does not favor se_x workers who operate under the cover of darkness on street corners.
The curfew has however opened other lucrative business avenues for some enterprising se_x workers who have moved their business online.
Some commercial sex workers who spoke to B-Metro said that the lockdown period was hard for them because of the lack of clients since bars, lodges and other recreational places have all been closed.As sex workers our incomes disappeared overnight when the Government reviewed its lockdown measures in the face of rising Covid-19 cases by imposing a stringent regime resulting in bars, bottle stores and lodges being closed.
We are really in a desperate situation as we are in need of money to pay rent and buy food, Rose a sex worker.
Rose added that they were also working online from home just like everyone else, making appointments with clients via WhatsApp and Facebook.The return of lockdown doesn’t just mean being out of work, it could also mean that we should be innovative. We are using technology to service our clients. I am now meeting with my regular clients via WhatsApp and Facebook.
It’s easy for those who drive as they just come to my house and if they are not comfortable being serviced indoors, we just go to a bushy area close to my suburb to make love in the car, she said.
Some of the online services being offered by commercial se_x during this lockdown period include live video calls, erotic photographs, and pre-recorded videos.
Another sex worker who chose anonymity said the online sex business has its challenges since some clients don’t want to converse on social media fearing that they are being trapped. This Covid-19 is a disaster for us who are involved in client-facing business. My kids are really struggling for food.
Now we have no business at all and we have also been forced to change timetables.
Instead of meeting our clients at night, it now makes sense to invite them during the day but it’s difficult for those who are married as they don’t want to be seen sneaking into our houses. For appointments with clients, I use WhatsApp, but it’s not easy as some clients will just ignore me as they suspect that they are being trapped, she said.
A representative of Sexual Rights Centre (SRC)- a sex worker-led organization, said the lockdown period was disastrous for sex workers who are now struggling to make ends meet. The nationwide lockdown implemented by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19 has left many sex workers jobless. To make matters worse they are excluded from emergency assistance available to other workers. They are also not benefitting from the pandemic response and recovery plans being extended to other workers in the informal sector, said the official.
Credit: B Metro