Safe Sex?: The German Sex Industry and the Pandemic
Sex work is a legitimate profession in Germany, requiring work permits and identification from anyone hoping to pursue the profession. When searching for employment in the sex work industry, workers are just as, if not more, heavily regulated than other industries. Registered sex workers are required to carry valid government-issued registration, must use condoms and contraceptives when any sexual act is performed, and must submit to regular health checks. This structure and regulation should, in theory, protect sex workers and validate their profession; however, German sex work is still considered taboo, many suffering from social stigma. Sex workers are suffering more than usual due to restrictions from Covid-19. Sex work is solely dependent upon human interaction. Given that Covid-19 is an airborne virus that is easily transmissible through droplets and close contact, the on-going pandemic has impacted the structure of the sex work industry significantly. This project will focus on the adverse effects Covid has had on the physical safety, mental health, and economic standing of sex workers in Germany.