COVID-19 is the worst pandemic to ravage the globe in recent human history. Self-isolation and social distancing laws and regulations have essentially forced us all into a state of genuine instability as the world continues to grapple with the consequences of this virus.
There aren’t many industries that left untouched of the coronavirus pandemic. Practically every aspect of life and every corresponding industry has in turn been impacted by the exceedingly rapid spread of COVID-19 including, as it turns out, the escort service industry.
While millions of couples are still experiencing relative familiarity in their sexual relationships with one another, individuals who experience sexual gratification by other (paid) means are experiencing a different reality – and so is the escort service industry itself.
While couples are still able to continue their relationships relatively as normal, for individuals who are not in committed and consensual relationships, COVID-19 has thrown their sex lives into relative instability.
The escort service industry has always thrived with relative ease, essentially going from strength to strength all the time even amid some rises and falls.
How is COVID-19 impacting those who make their living working in the escort service?
We don’t talk here about the escort service industry but also about as those who are their usual clientele. More than anything, the biggest barrier to the traditional layout of the escort service industry has been the removal of physical contact for the most part.
Obviously, this is the way that the escort service industry has always thrived, and now the industry is being forced to change its ways or risk being pulled apart entirely at the seams, which would in turn inevitably put hundreds of thousands (and even potentially millions) of sex workers around the globe out of work in what has already proven to be challenging times.
Business as usual now in Switzerland
Escort service companies like Swiss High-Class Escorts, who offer escort services in the most important Swiss cities like Lugano, Bern, Zurich, have made a living and a name for themselves in the business by building their foundations up as straight and narrow as they can and continuing to grow and operate on the same basis.
Now, as the industry and its workers begin to suffer from the consequences of the virus, they are having to shift again to realign with the way of this current world.
No kissing, erotic massages or any sensual body contact
For men or women seeking French kisses, erotic massages or sensual body contacts, this is now very dangerous, and you can end up having less then a month to live if your body fails in fighting off the deadly virus once infected! This means that one simple kiss can be your last quality time!
For a majority of escorts across the world, this is going to become a potentially adverse outcome for their business. The COVID-19 seems like it’s going to stick around for some time.
For most people within the escort industry, clients are cancelling some of their appointments, and this has led to losing bookings with each new day.
Reduced rates for remote work
It takes more than a global pandemic to put the world’s oldest profession out of business. Frenchie, a high-end escort headquartered in San Francisco, is calculating more affordable rates to survive economic instability in one of the most expensive areas in the US.
I’m trying to find different packages of clients who want to support me during this hard time,” she tells The Post. “But everybody is going through a hard time.”
She made the decision to stop servicing clients in the flesh when California enacted strict restrictions against in-person contact. Now, she’s trying to make the jump to “camgirl” sex sessions — but it’s not easy money.
In addition to video calls, Frenchie has decided to launch an account on OnlyFans, a popular website where subscribers can pay to see her NSFW videos. Online work “is not gonna generate that much income. Now I’m going to have to go through the savings that I worked so hard for. I have to pay my rent,” she says. It’s difficult to budget for a crisis with no end in sight. “Not knowing when exactly this is going to be over is creating more stress,” Frenchie says.
This means that there are new ways of escort work being explored and carried out, as well as past niches being explored in more depth. Whether these approaches to escort service work are going to survive and thrive after this virus is beaten is yet to be determined.
The transition to online is not easy
Estelle Lucas has worked as an escort for the past 10 years in Melbourne, carefully building relationships with her clients. But the spread of Covid-19 and the need for social distancing has prompted a ban on sex work, leaving her worried those efforts will go to waste.
“It’s fair to say that if I’m not working for six months, a lot of people are going to forget me,” she says.
“I can’t contact my clients and just have a conversation with them. That doesn’t work in my industry. We need to build intimacy and that’s just not possible in the current environment.”
“Unfortunately, there are things that can’t be translated,” she says to BBC. “I have made efforts to go online but not everyone is tech-savvy. Some of my clients don’t even really know how to use a smartphone.”
So far, an online appeal by the Las Vegas Sex Worker Collective has raised $19,300 (£15,680) while a campaign by a coalition of support groups in Italy has raised almost €21,700 (£19,500).
In a recent Forbes article, a veteran sex worker explains how the coronavirus has changed her work and her income, how the perfect storm for sex workers was brewing before the coronavirus began spreading, and what we lose when we lose sex workers and the services that they provide.