Ravenous Capitalism Won’t Even Spare The Oldest Profession

Even the sex industry is hurting from COVID.

Flower Seller

Wanna buy a flower…?

You’d think an influx of qualified applicants might be a good thing but, according to The Independent,Niki Adams, a spokesperson for the English Collective of Prostitutes, said, ‘…The pandemic has been devastating for sex workers.‘”

Women’s income has dropped off completely. We have helped hundreds of sex workers in need of emergency food with vouchers and also helped them with benefits.’

The article describes how the world is closing in on them, arguing the UK government should decriminalize their chosen field so they can get official help: We are disadvantaged because we have been locked out from the government’s support packages. Most sex workers are mothers but people don’t know that.

Ah, there’s the rub. Despite all of us having once been small children at the mercy of some woman, no one gives a shit about mothers. Sex workers are overwhelmingly women, which automatically makes this Not A Big Deal.

Niki Adams is asking for help from a society that has already decided she and her coworkers don’t matter. Not because they’re sex workers – They’re sex workers because they don’t matter. They don’t matter because they’re women.

And, if I’m wrong… Why is the Oldest Profession the only traditionally female one?

Sex worker Samantha pleads their case, “We spend our days making people happy but we get judged by everyone. We have a lot of vulnerable clients who can’t create bonds in real life, but they are human. We’re not lawbreakers, it’s the law that criminalizes us.

Although I can’t imagine why Samantha’s clients have trouble making friends, I’d wager her life experiences set her personal standard of acceptable behavior way too low. If violence is within the realm of normal, the lack of it can look like kindness.

Further down, Niki Adams tells us that Violence and stalking … has increased during the crisis as men take advantage of desperate women … Sex workers are working in riskier situations … Men know it is an even more hostile environment for sex workers.” Reporting abuse risks getting arrested themselves.

Layers of criminalization, stigma and illegality” are where Niki lays the blame for these women becoming homeless and unable to feed themselves or their children. This is a woman hanging from a cliff by her fingernails asking for better press-ons. Never mind how she got out on that cliff in the first place!

And it shows us just how goddam “necessary” this evil is. I think we can all agree that few things stop a determined man, even threat of his own demise. Hell, I’ve heard some of them would even find that titillating. If men were really so hard up, no plague would stop them. (Did I hear someone say, ‘syphilis’?)

No, Samantha says, “We’ve had to go to our regulars and say: ‘Can you lend us money please?’” What, no work to be done today, dude? Masturbation is theft!

Weeping In Black

"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." – Audre Lorde

If anything, sex work is an entertainment industry. When push comes to shove, it goes the way of movie theaters.

No one does a very good job here selling that the only real problem is government prohibition.Fifteen years ago, you could make money in this industry but now we can just about get by … We were scraping getting by before Covid. Now we’re in debt.

Scraping by? Don’t they set their own rates?? Competition must already be absolutely brutal. An influx of qualified workers is only going to drive wages even lower, as any armchair economist will tell you.

The real problem, of course, is Woman = Commodity.

If one woman is for sale, all of us are potentially for sale. But it’s only the strongest distillation of our common poison, renting our bodies by the hour to survive. In this environment, small wonder we hear that “sex work is work.”

It’s never been more obvious that they are in the same struggle as the rest of us. Sex work is not necessary, it’s certainly not empowering; Nakedly relying on a stranger’s respect for a verbal contract is risky with your stock portfolio, nevermind your body. Shall we mainstream contract killing next?

Folding sex workers into the mainstream economy is only fitting, as Capitalism makes whores of us all. 



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