Technology and the Internet are making sex work safer.

Technology has reshaped the world we live in, making things easier or faster. The Covid19 pandemic has made it clear that most professions have to adapt to the digital way of doing things in order to survive. Sex work was not exception.

One of the oldest professions known to man went through the same pinch that many of us have, and like everyone else, they lost business and couldn’t support themselves. Many sex workers in Zimbabwe risked severe beatings by military police during locking looking for clients.

The impact of the internet

They adjusted to the curfew that most required them to operate during the day, but many were still struggling and I thought of the internet. The World Wide Web and camera technology have been evolving this profession and create new dynamic to him.

The name itself of sex work has become that umbrella term that encompasses so many variations sex work like poll dance, cam girls, escorts and popular prostitution among many others. For us in Zimbabwe a sex worker is a prostitute.

The internet has created new avenues of sex work where sex workers do not have sex with clients like webcam girls / boys. This type of sex worker posts photos or videos to websites  like Chaturbate and MyFreeCams where clients pay a fee to watch, no sex involved.

The Internet method of sex work guarantees the security sex workers, as it can be done at home and with the exchange of money through payment methods like PayPal, there is no risk of a customer taking money back once after the service is finished. All of these questions are frequently raised among Zimbabwean sex workers who have been abused, cheated on payments, and coerced into unprotected sex by clients.

How sex work can be digitized in Zim

I know at this point many think this only applies to developed countries that have easy access to the necessary equipment and internet blah blah blah. Humor me; when you ask prostitutes why they do what they do, it is usually because of poverty, they have no choice and most don’t like the job. Organizations like Pow wow stand up for sex workers and provide help in difficult times such as during lockdown. But is this a way to help create lasting solutions?

Organizations like Pow Wow could shift some of their efforts to programs that teach sex workers about this digital and above all safer way of doing business. This way of working sex also expands their clientele and reduces the risk of infections or sexually transmitted diseases for both clients and sex workers.

Some will wonder what about their local customers who can’t afford Wi-Fi or data? Well, in all fairness, it comes from a place of empathy for vulnerable sex workers who, with the kind of online profit, could finally go to school and quit the business altogether. Have options.

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