Even though social distancing is incredibly important, we also know that many sex workers will need to go about their business as usual. That is the reality of surviving in a capitalist society while enduring criminalization and stigmatization.Social distancing is a privilege, and it’s not possible for everyone. Therefore the Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network and Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project have created accessible guidelines for sex workers and allies during this time.
Sex workers are and always have been resourceful and resilient.
We are experts in keeping ourselves and our communities safe.
We’ve been doing it for decades! We would like to share our wisdom
and learn from each other on how to overcome this current
Sex workers often work in very precarious situations, and it is enerally impossible to access labour protections such as paid sick leave and unemployment insurance. Many of us are experiencing loss of income due to appointment cancellations, decreased demand for services, workplace closures, and sickness. Since sex industry jobs do not offer a salary, sick days, or benefits, there is little to no safety net for sex workers when we are unable to work.
While social distancing is strongly advised, it is particularly challenging for contact sex workers (full service workers, strippers, massage workers, professional dominants, etc), queer and trans sex workers, Black and Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) workers at the margins, and otherwise low-income workers to adhere to these recommendations. This is because the loss of income that would result from such social distancing measures prevents them from working, and makes the difference between affording basic needs such as food, medicine, childcare, rent and more.