COVID-19: I’m a bodyworker or sex worker and I want to keep my clients and me safe – what should I do?
Answer: Coronavirus is spread through close contact with a person who has the virus. It’s spread through droplets, such as from coughing or saliva. And it can stay behind on doorknobs, toilets, light switches, sinks, massage tables, and anything made of latex or silicone.
Keeping your environment wiped down with disinfectant wipes after each client is part of your role in your business. But assessing risks from your client is also very important.
- Your client could have it on their skin if they have not washed thoroughly.
- An infected client could transmit it to you by coughing or sneezing near you if they don’t wear a mask.
- The virus is also present in feces, which makes touching the anal area another way of possibly transmitting.
- You could also give it to your client easily if you are infected.
Before you begin any session with a client, we recommend you screen them so that you can assess your own risk. When negotiating services, prices, and laying ground rules, cover off on Coronavirus too. Here is how you might ask the question:
“I just want to check in with you first on a few things to make sure we’re both safe about Coronavirus.” Clarify the following:
- Do you know if you’ve been exposed to Coronavirus?
- Have you recently had a temperature of more than 100 degrees or other symptoms of respiratory illness, like cough, fever, shortness of breath?
- Have you or someone you live with traveled internationally lately?
If your client answers “yes” to one or more of these, you are taking a risk by continuing the session. If you choose to continue, here are some tips to help cut down the risks:
- Make sure you are already washing your hands several times throughout the day for a full 20 seconds with warm water. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands.
- Latex gloves, condoms, and dental damns are highly recommended for sex work, now more than ever.
- Have your client wear a paper mask during the entire session if they have symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath, or wheezing. If wearing a mask, use it only once and then throw away immediately in a trash can. Do not reuse masks.
- Use sanitizer gel generously. You can make your own by mixing 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel. It’s perfectly OK to also add a few drops of your favorite oil (like tea tree) to give it a nice smell.
- Do not touch your own face – this is one of the surest ways to contract any virus.
- Shower thoroughly after each client and change clothes to minimize possible spreading of Coronavirus.