The past few weeks have been a crazy time for the sex industry (and the world in general). I hope you are all doing okay – I know it’s a tough time and many of us are struggling.
I haven’t done a booking since the end of February. I had about a week off from sex work because I was sick (no, not THAT type of sick) and by the time I was ready to start taking bookings again, COVID-19 had well and truly hit Australia. I have decided not to return to work at this stage. I am feeling incredibly lucky that my partner earns enough money to keep us both comfortably afloat, without having to dip into our savings. I know many other sex workers are not in the same position. Many sex workers will need to keep on working, even if they don’t feel comfortable with the risk they may be taking.
We all know sex workers don’t get sick pay or holiday pay, and many don’t have any superannuation or savings. While the Australian government has extended welfare to more Australians than ever, many sex workers will not be able to access this assistance because of stigma and discrimination. If you are an Australian sex worker who is struggling to make ends meet at the moment, Scarlett Alliance has set up an emergency fund. If you have the means to donate, please think about giving a few dollars for those sex workers who have no other financial support at this time.
It’s a tough time for everyone, and I am thinking of every one of you.
I’m an introvert, so at first, self-isolating was no big deal for me, but it’s slowly become more and more difficult. I never thought I would say it (I’ve always enjoyed time off), but I actually miss sex work. I think most of all I miss FREEDOM. It’s funny how the feeling of not being ‘allowed’ to do anything can make everything feel so much worse.
I’ve spent most of the last few weeks at home, and it seems like it will be this way for the next few months. All my university classes are now online, my gym is closed, and I get paranoid if I have to go to the supermarket (people really do not seem to understand social distancing!) There are a few things I’ve been doing to stay sane during this time that I thought I would share with you.
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a routine junkie. I think you can’t underestimate the power of a good routine.
One of the biggest positives of sex work is the flexibility it gives you – but what we often don’t talk about is how SO much flexibility can be a bad thing. If your flexible schedule results in you slobbing around the house in sweatpants all day, waking up at 2pm, never eating a proper meal and watching Netflix all the time, I’d argue that your flexible schedule isn’t doing you any favours.
The whole flexible schedule thing is exacerbated if you are home 24/7. One day merges into the next, and next thing you know you can’t remember when you last changed your coffee-stained pajamas and whether it’s Tuesday or Saturday. So, I’m here to say it: KEEP A ROUTINE.
I get up at the same time each day, put on PROPER clothes (pants with a stretchy waistband DON’T count) and do my makeup and hair (I’m not saying go full glam, but make yourself feel and look presentable). After I have breakfast, I start the day by cleaning up my apartment – simply tidying the living room, making the bed, emptying the dishwasher and wiping down the benches makes ALL the difference, especially when you have to be in the house all day. I structure my day to include ‘work’ hours and study hours (even though I’m not currently doing face-to-face sex work). I schedule in a lunch break and a time when I will finish up for the day. I make sure I exercise or at least stretch each day, and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
A pandemic is NOT an excuse to become a slob.
I’ve been using the ATracker app while I’ve been studying and working from home. It allows me to track how much time I’m spending on specific subjects and projects. I use it to make sure I’m actually WORKING each day, rather than just slobbing around. I’ve been aiming for 6-8 hours of work and study each weekday.
Everywhere has different rules at the moment (and the rules seem to change every day!), so you may not be able to stick to your usual gym routine. My gym is currently closed, so that’s out the window for me. I tried to do some outdoor cardio last week, but I live close to the city, and there were way too many people out and about for me to feel comfortable at the moment. Instead, I’m doing home workouts on my balcony. All you need is a yoga mat (or a carpeted area) and an internet connection to get a great workout in. My gym has online classes, but I’ve also been enjoying Yoga with Adriene and Blogilates on Youtube.
If you’re not working (or even if you are), you probably have way more time on your hands than usual. It’s tempting to use that time to binge-watch Netflix or scroll through Instagram, but I want to challenge you to really USE your extra time to your advantage. What do you always want to do that you never get the chance to? I’ve been reading a lot more than usual and using my extra time to develop some small business ideas I haven’t had the opportunity to think about properly until now. If you’re looking for some good self-improvement books, I’ve recently read and enjoyed:
You could also use your extra time to develop a skill you’ve been wanting to learn. Udemy, edX and Skillshare all have low-cost or free online courses.
Even if you’re not currently doing face-to-face sex work, this is a great time to get all those business tasks done that you never have time for. Take some time to review your current business strategy – what’s working for you, and what’s not? What would you like to improve on or change? Here is a list of basic business to-dos to get the ball rolling:
I hope these ideas help keep you sane and busy during this time. It’s tough, but we’re in this tough and we can get through it.
Photo by Unsplash.
Disclaimer: I cannot, and do not, speak for all sex workers. I speak from my experience of working in a legal brothel and as an independent escort in Australia. Where possible I try to be inclusive. However, I can’t relay every experience of sex work – especially if I haven’t experienced it myself. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.