Covid-19 fears affecting Joburg’s sex trade

The Covid-19 outbreak in the country is paralysing one of humanity’s oldest trades – the mutlibillion- rand prostitution industry.

This because the sex workers in Joburg are growing fearful to service their clients as news of the novel coronavirus spread across the commercial capital.

Sex workers who spoke to Sunday World at the Summit Club in Joburg said the business is no longer booming since the outbreak of Covid-19, which has already infected 61 people in South Africa, more than 140 000 globally and killed more than 40 000 the world over.

“Clients are now afraid to pay for the services because they are scared of making contact with us. This has affected our business badly. I don’t know how I’m going
to pay for the rent and my bills month-end,” said an Asian-looking sex worker, who did not want to be identified.

Another sex worker shared the same sentiments.

“We knew that this virus was getting closer and closer. Unlike HIV, we can’t prevent it simply by wearing protection. This one is scary because it is just like fl­u; one cough and we are all scared,” she said.

The Club Royal sex workers are also feeling the coronavirus pinch.

“I’m scared to render the services because we don’t know who is carrying the virus,” said one.

“I’m not going to take chances because this thing kills, my life comes first. I have a small child at home and my sister to feed with the money I make here. But I can’t take chances.

“The clients are also scared to come to us because they suspect that we are carrying it because we interact with many people on a daily basis,” added the sex worker.

Another prostitute also confirmed the negative impact the virus had on the business, but said she continued to ply her trade nonetheless.

Unlike porn stars who wear masks, she said she continued to provide services without protecting herself.

“I have developed the fear of having sex with strangers and this reduced the satisfaction I would get while servicing a client,” she said.

Pornhub, meanwhile, has announced that it was experiencing high website volumes since more people were confined to their homes.

It has clocked six million searches since January.

By Boitumelo Kgobotlo

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