Coronavirus: Nevada sex workers getting more clients as anxious people seek 'connection during stressful time'
Alice Little and Roxanne Price, two legal sex workers in Nevada, said seeing a sex worker is probably safer than a Tinder date as they are tested regularly
Even as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to bring the country to a screeching halt, two Nevada sex workers report they are seeing an uptick in business despite increased anxiety and paranoia.
Alice Little, 29, a sex entrepreneur who is the highest-earning licensed sex worker at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch legal brothel in Lyon County, Nevada, admitted to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) that she was worried business would be impacted negatively due to people’s fear and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus and how it would spread.
That unease, she said, only intensified when Nevada officials confirmed their first cases of COVID-19 last week. But it seems that for now, at least, the worry was misplaced. "I was worried that viral outbreaks, and the fear surrounding them, could particularly affect a sex worker’s business," Little said. "Sex workers are often stigmatized as diseased trollops to begin with. Combine that stereotype with even more societal anxiety over a dangerous virus like COVID-19, and sex workers could wrongly be viewed as walking Petri dishes that should be avoided at all costs."
She added that sex workers have the right to refuse any client for any reason, and that, if by chance, a client came to a brother exhibiting symptoms of cold or flu, they would not be providing their services.
Little said she expected to see cancelations after the announcement of the first confirmed case in the state but that "the exact opposite occurred" -- she has seen a steady flow of additional appointments.
Her experience is shared by Roxanne Price, 25, who is a licensed sex worker at Sheri’s Ranch legal brothel in Nye County, Nevada, who said she, too, had had an "incredibly lucrative" week despite the coronavirus outbreak.
"This past week, including this weekend, has been one of the best weeks I’ve had since 2014 when I started working in Nevada’s legal brothels," Price revealed.
"Seeing a sex worker is no riskier than going on a Tinder date," she continued. "In fact, legal sex workers are the safer choice. The truth is that legal sex workers in Nevada are tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and no sex worker in Nevada can provide intimate services if she doesn’t pass these medical STD tests."
Alice's theory is that this unanticipated increase can be pegged down to the "basic human need for connection during stressful times."
"It goes to show that, in times of crisis, the need for human connection transcends the fear of the unknown," she shared. "When society is faced with an alarming situation rife with uncertainty, people yearn to be with others that will hold them close, listen to them, and remind them why life is worth living."
"Sex workers offer more than just a physical connection," she added. "Oftentimes, we are our clients' most trusted confidants. Clients share their deepest emotional secrets and most tender vulnerabilities with sex workers. So it makes sense to me why many people would want to be with sex workers when political or health crises emerge."
She also dispelled the misconception that the state's legal brothels were like nightclubs that saw hundreds of visitors daily and said the sex workers she knew worked with "only a small number of patrons in any given week."
"Several of those customers are long term clients that have formed a trusting, lasting relationship with a particular sex worker," she said. "Sex workers like us come in contact with no more people than many other young sexually active women. The risk of one of us contracting coronavirus is highly unlikely and, in my opinion, no higher than the average sexually active woman in America."
Price, on the other hand, said the increased business may have something to do with people having certain items they would like to cross off their sexual bucket lists. "I think that this 'What if it’s the end of the world?’' mentality is causing people with sexual goals to visit sex workers like me sooner rather than later so that they can fulfill their desires and cross off specific items or experiences from their bucket lists," she said.
"While my clients and I certainly don’t genuinely believe that the world is coming to an end, I think that situations like the coronavirus remind us that life is short and now’s the time to live it," she added.
She also suggested it was probably because her clients trust the legal brothel system with regard to health and safety.
"By law, sex workers are tested for sexually transmitted diseases every week, we operate in a clean, well-maintained environment, and we have to pass an FBI background check to ensure that we are aboveboard and reputable individuals. No matter what’s going on in the world, seeing a legal sex worker is the safest sex you can have," she insisted.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. has crossed 4,500 and seen the shutting of bars, restaurants, and schools, and the CDC recommend the banning of any mass gathering event with more than 50 people.
The legal sex industry has not yet been affected, but in the scenario it is, Price and Little both said they have contingencies in place.
"Obviously, if the United States government shuts down all non-essential venues as Italy has done, I will not be able to ply my trade and will want to take steps to maintain a steady income stream," Little shared. "I will definitely explore webcam and remote video sex work if I am unable to see my clients face-to-face. Thankfully, I have established a following on YouTube and adult entertainment platforms so that I will be able to pivot into no-contact sex work somewhat easily if need be."
"I’m relatively good with saving money and maintaining a financial 'cushion,'" Price similarly said. "I hope that non-essential establishments won’t be closed here in America. If something extreme like that happens, I may just wait it out and conscientiously live off my savings until venues reopen."
"Even in a worst-case scenario like businesses shutting down for a while, sex workers will weather the storm. They call sex work ‘the oldest profession’ because it has been around forever, and that profession has a long and prosperous future no matter what temporary setbacks the industry may face."