While hairdressers and massage therapists can re-open on Wednesday in the Netherlands, sex workers are still not allowed to provide their services
Dozens of sex workers in the Netherlands gathered in Hague to protest against alleged discrimination against their profession during the times of a pandemic of COVID-19.
They claim that it is unfair for them to be outlawed while other contact professions, such as hairdressers and massage therapists can work in their country.
Some protestors were holding signs saying that: “Blow jobs are real jobs” and “Sex work: Yes. Stigma: No”.
The country’s Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced on Wednesday, that the so-called contact professions could reopen as of Wednesday.
However, he specifically excluded sex workers. He says that the very nature of their profession requires close proximity of individuals that cannot be safe during the pandemic.
But the protestors in Hague disagree. They argue that despite the fact their profession is usually based on physical contact, they can maintain the 5-feet (1,5-meter) distance between themselves and their clients.
“I’m an S&M mistress. It’s no problem at all to keep the 1.5-meter distance. I can lock them up in a cage, stay far away from them, (I can) even implement COVID rules, we can play doctor, I can put them on a dog leash,” said one Rotterdam sex worker who identified herself as Princess Patricia.
“Everything is possible, I have a very long whip. So no risk at all.”
Prostitution has been recognized as an official legal profession in the Netherlands since 1988. While estimates regarding the total number of prostitutes vary, most sources place this number between 15,000 and 30,000.