People are clearly enjoying clean air, traffic free roads and empty buses and trains, but maybe they should be a little bit careful in what they wish for.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema is due to publish avision for tourism which will outline how she
sees tourism developing post coronavirus.
And now a group of organisations have published their own vision for the future of the city centre, ahead of the mayor's proposals. The residents' associations say their plan of action will restore the
balance between residents, companies and visitors.
The plan calls on officials to uphold the ban on holiday rentals and to close down illegal hotels. Cannabis cafes, it says, should only be open to residents. There should be fewer music festivals and
a ban on amusement park activities such as beer bikes, water bikes, segways and the like. In addition, the city, as a shareholder in Schiphol airport, should pressure for a reduction in holiday traffic. Mini supermarkets should be banned from selling
alcohol and the sex industry should be moved in its entirety to a hotel in a different location.
In fact moving the red light district is one of the options which mayor Femke Halsema has already mooted. And earlier this year, a report drawn up by city
officials suggested that a special room rental complex for prostitutes or an erotic centre complete with prostitution, sex theatres and other facilities are the two most likely options on the table.
Geerte Udo, chief executive of city marketing
department amsterdam&partners, told DutchNews.nl earlier this month that the city will aim to build a new industry that is socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Instead of attracting the hen parties and stag nights who once turned the
red light district into an all night party, it is aiming for a culture and history-loving audience. Amsterdam has always been an open and international city, and we would love to welcome visitors as soon as possible, she told DutchNews.nl. But the right
Meanwhile, sex worker organisation Red Light United has published its own plans which would allow window prostitution, currently banned until September 1, to resume. The protocol would require both sex worker and client to wear masks and
rubber gloves and only positions which do not involve face to face contact would be permitted.
Coronavirus has caused Germany's brothels to close their doors, but some politicians inevitatbly want the ban to become permanent.
Prominent German politicians called for brothels to be closed indefinitely, extending their temporary closure due to
Sixteen lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right CDU party and the center-left Social Democrats wrote a letter, seen by German media, to the premiers of the 16 German states claiming that sex workers could
become super spreaders of the virus.
In their letter, the German lawmakers express hope that the closure of the brothels could be a good opportunity to improve opportunities for sex workers in Germany. Re-opening the brothels will not help these
women. Instead, they need apprenticeships, training or work in a secure job.
The letter calls for Germany to take the opportunity to adopt the Nordic model, under which paying for sex is illegal.
One of South Korea's top football clubs apologised for using properly clothed sex dolls to fill empty seats at a weekend game.
FC Seoul insisted the mannequins, used to replace banned crowds, had no connection to sex toys. But some of the
artificial spectators wore T-shirts with the logo of SoloS, a sex toy seller. Other mannequins, which wore facemasks and were separated according to social distancing guidelines, held placards advertising the company and some of its models.
Seoul said in a statement:
We are sincerely sorry for causing deep concern to fans. We have confirmed from the very beginning that they had no connection to sex toys.
US strip clubs are taking steps to allow customers back inside. Though in some cases, the strip clubs will be forced to reopen without strippers.
The Lucky Devil Lounge, a strip club in Portland, Oregon, has been operating since April as a
drive-through restaurant with dancers wearing facial masks and gloves, performing for customers who remain in cars, under a tent in the club's parking lot.
The Den, a strip club in Cheyenne, Wyoming, opened its doors on May 15 with a masks on,
clothes off party-style event.
In Superior, Wisconsin, the Centerfolds Cabaret strip club limits on the number of patrons who may enter the club at any one time, in an attempt to maintain social distancing standards.
While couples in the UK grapple with the unrealistic idea of either living together or not seeing each other at all (bar the occasional socially-distanced stroll in the park), single people in the Netherlands are being advised to choose designated
sex buddies for lockdown.
The official coronavirus guidance from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has been amended to suggest that those without a permanent sexual partner come to mutually satisfactory
agreements with like-minded individuals, ie find a fuck buddy until this whole pandemic blows over.
The Netherlands version of lockdown allows three home visitors at any given time, under strict conditions that they keep 1.5 metres distance from
each other. But the RIVM now states that it makes sense that as a single (person) you also want to have physical contact.
Calls have been made for an emergency fund to support sex workers whose earnings have fallen during the coronavirus crisis.
A third of escorts have been continuing to offer face-to-face meetings, estimated one sex worker.
The English Collective
of Prostitutes said there was precedent for a support fund and without one many had to choose between earning and risking health. There was no reason why the UK could not follow countries such as Japan and Thailand and provide emergency money.
Charlotte Rose, a former sex worker, said many women would not get any help because social stigma had put them off registering as a self-employed sex worker. She estimated a third of escorts were still offering face-to-face services. She commented:
Sex workers are predominantly single mothers and they still have to work, they still have to earn. If they're not registered, they're not applicable for the government funding. If they've got children, how are they
supposed to feed their families?
The government responded in a statement: Universal Credit payments have been increased to help support people through these unprecedented times.
The US anti-porn campaigners Morality in Media (who now misleadingly name themselves as the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation) have been calling on international payment companies to censor the adult tube sites, most notably Pornhub. The group has
set up an international branch and recruited a few unknown morality campaign groups from around the world. Haley McNamara, director of the international branch writes in a letter to major payment companies:
Major credit card companies
continue to provide infrastructure to the exploitative pornography industry. As international anti-exploitation leaders, we urgently call on these financial institutions to cease processing payments and thereby refuse to aid human rights violations
We believe this decision would be in line with your corporate ethical commitment to processing legal purchases, and that it will advance your reputation by refusing profits from sexual violence, incest, sex trafficking, child sexual
abuse material, and other exploitation.
The pornography industry does not judge or verify consent in any videos on their sites, let alone live webcam videos. Tragically, this has resulted in worldwide cases of rape, child sexual
abuse, sex trafficking, and non-consensually shared pornography (or 'revenge porn') being uploaded onto mainstream pornography websites.
Further, we know that mainstream pornography is promoting themes of incest, rape, racism, sex
with youth, and sexual violence against women, which warps many users' sexual and neurological development. It is time for mainstream companies to stop propping up an industry that is inherently built on sexual exploitation.
The operator of Bella's Hacienda Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, has announced new procedures she will adopt once Governor Steve Sisolak gives the green light to reopen.
Madam Bella told AVN that her plan involves several key procedural changes,
including a plan to include COVID-19 testing as part of the weekly sex worker testing done at the bordello.
Madam Bella also will require customers to wear face coverings and everyone entering the establishment will be tested for elevated
temperatures. Hand washing and showers have always been a part of the business' cleanliness protocol, but Madam Bella will make showers prior to a session mandatory for additional precaution.
However the brothel will be somewhat scaled down with
only 8 ladies, about half the usual number.
Thai olice have launched an investigation after a video which showed a woman playing with a sex toy in public was shared 7 million times on social media.
Deputy police spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said police are aware of the clip and
warned that those involved face up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to 100,000 baht (£2500) or both for creating and distributing pornographic or indecent material online in accordance to Section 14 of the Computer Crime Act.
Pol Col Krissana
also warned that anyone who shares the clip online could also be breaking the law.
In fact the video is part of a worldwide internet craze often identified by the tag #VibratingPanties. The video in question is on Pornhub with the title Thai
Cute Girl Remote Control Vibrator. Note that the video is not explicit, nor has nudity, nor is it proved that the toy is in use.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, sex workers who have gone online to make a living are discovering the market is saturated with performers, whilst at the same time many subscribers are canceling their subscriptions due to their own financial
According to Newsweek reporter Ewan Palmer's article , established online performers are losing customers or receiving
less money from fans who are experiencing their own financial struggles as the economy continues to spiral downward. As many go online to make ends meet, those without an existing online profile are finding a glut of performers and difficulty trying to
In addition, American sex workers are barred from the government's effort to help small businesses whose incomes were severely impacted by the pandemic. The Small Business Association's Economic Injury Disaster Program prohibits anyone who
presents live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derives their income from the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature from receiving benefits.
Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CNN has reported that Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan's legal sex workers will be
eligible to receive government assistance as part of the nation's economic relief package.
Japan's original COVID-19 relief plan initially barred sex workers, along with bars, restaurants and gangsters, from receiving any economic aid and was
widely criticized for being discriminatory in its application
The financial relief will be paid to businesses and it is still unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated under the new plan.