The world is ending (as we know it) and most of us are wondering what the f*ck to do. Do we take this time as a sign from the universe? Is the planet angry at us for all the abuse we’ve done to it and this is her revenge? Mother Nature is ruthless, and she’s taking back her power, but at a steep price. The COVID-19 epidemic has hit the economy just as hard (if not harder) than the recession of ‘08, and feels like the Great Depression Vol II. As a bicoastal hoe, both of my coasts are completely shut down, with NYC going into full quarantine this past weekend, and the entire Las Vegas Strip (including all the adjacent strip clubs) shutting down as of last night, for the first time since JFK’s assassination. For pretty much everyone in the service industry, this is desperate and dark for us. As a sex worker, I’m part of the half of the world that’s more afraid of not being able to come up with my rent and bills than getting sick. The other half consisting of white-collar workers, educators, or anyone with a salary-job with full benefits and paid/sick leave, is more concerned about becoming infected than losing their income. And the entire medical and agriculture industry, including all grocery store and pharmacy employees are the most at risk of being exposed. So it seems everyone has their shit sandwich to eat right about now.
However, as someone who entered sex work for the freedom to make money as I pleased in order to fund my business and passions, not having an income is scarier than any viral infection. For more marginalized sex workers that have already been struggling to get on their feet pre-COVID-19, this is detrimental to their livelihood and safety. None of us have the answers as to when the world will resume back to normal, and if it ever truly will. All we can do is take it one day at a time, and hope for the best. In the meantime however, here’s an easy list of ways, those of you with the means to do so, can support the sex workers near and dear to you, and the community as a whole, while we try to keep our heads above water during this global crisis.
1. Buy from small SWer (or womxn) owned businesses.
Contrary to popular belief, SWer’s do much more than have sex, and ALL woman are multi-faceted as hell. In addition to the many skills we must utilize at our “day jobs” most of us have businesses of our own that operate as an additional (and now crucial) income. Conveniently enough, Most SWer’s provide plenty of goods and services quite useful during quarantine, as we’re typically quarantined to our safe space on the off chance we’re not out hustling. Here’s a few ideas: slutty and soft loungewear by Jaq The Stripper, comfy undies for laying around the house by Shop Cherri, personal coaching/therapy sessions via phone by healer Shelby Sells, some sweets and comfort food by Sugar Tits for UK based peeps, some slutty stripper gear for taking thotty IG pics by JUICE by Jaime Saint, or a Self-Love To Success book and planner for some daily inspiration by Darilyn Rae, perfect for some self-reflection during social distancing.
2. Subscribe (and I can’t stress this enough) TO THEIR ONLYFANS!
SWer’s have the most intimate, touch-based job out of everyone in the service industry so most of us will be going digital, joining our cam-girls, porn stars and Twitter hoes who rake it in behind a screen. Unfortunately, the closure of strip clubs and the results of intense quarantine across the country will send most IRL SWer’s to their laptops, which will flood the online circuit, so the competition will definitely affect those who have been practicing social distancing for quite some time already. So subscribe to the sluts already on your feed, your internet crushes, but most importantly, your local SWer’s.
3. Employ them if you can!
I’ll reiterate, sex workers have a wide variety of skills that enable us to provide many unique services. Hell, we sell the air around us at a price comparable to most luxury goods, so being talentless must pay off somehow right? Obviously most people are freezing hiring currently, but if any of you need odd jobs done remotely, sex workers are excellent sales people, therapists, teachers, and we’re super resourceful, so hire your sex worker friends to help you get your quarantine check-list done, and we’re always more than willing to work under the table. I would guarantee they have some availability right now.
I’m sure most of you plan on doing this anyways, so if you have the means, this is the time to give back to the porn stars that have been giving you jack-off content for free since adolescence. Most porn actors have full-length videos you can purchase, sex toys that they make commission off of sales, and subscriptions to their PornHub channels. You can also support the wonderful people behind the camera, by subscribing to services run by women-owned porn production companies. Erika Lust is a personal favorite, who offers her content on a subscription basis, similar to how you would stream Netflix or Hulu. So let’s get freaky America, from a distance, of course.
5. DONATE, DONATE, DONATE!
So many organizations are providing a channel for people with the means to donate to marginalized sex workers right now. SWOP Brooklyn has a GoFundMe that goes directly to sex workers in need in the NYC area, and Pumps Brooklyn, a popular strip club and biker bar in BK is accepting Venmo donations that will go directly towards their dancers that don’t have employment for the foreseeable future. I am NYC based so these are the main sources I know of, but do your research and check if your state or city has any channels to donate to the local SWer community. It’s as easy as going on Instagram and following some strippers in your town for more information. Most SWers will be posting their personal Venmo/CashApps and accepting any dollar you can spare. Trust me, paying it forward now will always benefit you in the future.