I thought I’d start again. I’m double dosed. But Covid19 kicked my arse. And not by having it. The fear of having it, getting it or passing it on. The fear of my family and community getting it. The fear of being on lockdown for months on end. It’s the no end in sight which rattles one’s cage. I loved tag as a kid but this was a dangerous game I didn’t want to play. Firstly the use of the word game is wrong. A game should be somewhere between fun and competitive.
Covid has not only disheveled the hearts of many in the sex industry, whether you ran a parlour, worked the street or stripped in a club, or any other style of work. Just try giving a lap dance with 2m distance. There are extremely clever dancers with talents that would drop your jaw while they drop their tracks, (songs they dance to for the unaware) but even that would be a feat. And of course, they couldn’t as the clubs were shut. You cannot pass go you cannot collect $200.
So I thought I’d start again. At the onset of covid sure it was a novelty we all kind of collectively went “um?” Ok… have I got enough supplies (and I don’t mean toilet paper, ye Gods!)
This time around, perhaps more so, was becoming not only a self concern but major concern about our peers. With lockdowns extended, and yes we get the point, hell we understand risk and health awareness better than most, but the uncertainty about one’s future is daunting. However, forget the future. It’s the present that needs addressing.
NZPC are definitely right behind the thousands of NZ sex workers. And a group of amazing workers have set up a peer support. People helping behind the scenes as much as we can. That’s what being human is all about right? Whether it be clients remotely, (thank you!) or our friends (and even those we have yet to meet) in the industry. But what happens when you cannot afford to financially support yourself let alone your peers? What if your mental health is suffering? What happens when you don’t want to ask for help. Maybe you are one of those who have asked for help before and it backfired. The bills don’t disappear just because your income doesn’t reflect the need.
A dear friend of mine quoted her wise dad, “never come to the table without a solution” I concur. So what can be done? Sure you can entertain yourself to a degree, and perhaps better yourself by reading, studying and whatever else you personally can do at this time for self growth. (No time like the present hey…) but that won’t directly inflate your financial situation, or deflate stress, if the stress is still coming from lack of access to funds.
So we become the online moonlighting specialist? Maybe, maybe not.
Some people have a side hustle of cam work and other online services. Which I applaud the diversing - But that is not the same income as in person services and also, certainly not suitable to everyone. Why? It’s just taking your clothes off? (Ha is that ALL you think we do) Indeed it is these kind of unnecessary comments that show some fractured people do not always think before they speak. And uneducated folks often do throw stones. The kind of, at times nasty, fools who will comment unhelpful things on social media news like “ha they took spread your legs too seriously”
There are a myriad of reasons this is not possible and to be frank, I won’t even begin to digest them for you.
These are the same people who will say “get a real job then” (you know, the theory of working and getting paid)
We, at the time of writing this are now under level 2 in Wellington (and most of our beautiful New Zealand) our hearts worry for our Auckland friends and colleagues, and of course, further down the trails as new levels are a changing.
I’ve always looked at the bright side, being an eternal “the sun will come out tmrw” type of outlook on life, let’s enjoy today. But when today is a constant strain of worry, ongoing concern for others and walking about in circles doing whatever you can do to help yourself behind the scenes of your job, whether it’s new photos for social media, updating website or even writing a blog, it gets a bit tiresome. The reason(s) we do sex work varies. But the end game of being on the game is it’s our job. The moral police, much like the fashion police, is purely an opinion. The fact is, we were here before covid, we will be here after covid, even if you can’t see us during.
So I thought I’d start again.
ps: Side note: my metaphorical door is always open to others in the industry who may need to chat, don’t sit there dwelling on things you can’t see light of; I will ALWAYS help in anyway I can. It will not backfire if you reach out to me. In the meantime, remember how STRONG you are, and that you may feel like you are in constant isolation - but you are definitely NOT alone, and you WILL get through this xx AJ