9/2020 Living without sex in a new time of morality


How Corona supports the comeback of prudery
A special contribution from Andre Nolte

Prostitution is considered as a profession from a legal perspective since 2002. And yet more and more people are using the current Corona Crisis as the official reason for demanding penalties or the prohibition of sex workers to bring prostitution to an end.

SM Master Andre alias Dominus.Berlin in Hemd und Lederhose auf Leder Sofa mit Alex Varlan bereit fuer Erotik und Fetisch Spiel zwischen Vater und Sohn

This kind of discrimination is nothing new for us gay men. After we had managed in collaboration with straight people during the movement in 1968 that the country lost the power to defend the „moral order“ with criminal laws, it took a long time before paragraph 175 for gay people was removed. §175 covered, for example, the protection of minors in the event of homosexual assaults and stated, for instance, that an 18 years old man committed a criminal offense when he fucked a 17 years old guy. A straight heterosexual man was subject to a similar penalty if he had intercourse with a 13-year-old girl for her first time. It would take until 1994 before the §175 was finally removed.

But why was §175 for men in place, and why does it matter in today`s situation?
In the end, people always seem to focus on the question of morality. Back in the 1980s, the „back loader“ role was politically and morally negatively discussed and also part of the AIDS discussion. Unfortunately, we are forced in 2020 again to explain and defend ourselves in the context of Covid-19, since those insanely distorted images of prostitution still exist in society until the current day. Since September, prostitution is permitted in several states of Germany under strict conditions (sometimes with or without sexual intercourse), but the situation changes from week to week. A ban on sex workers is most likely if the number of new infections continues to rise. (Latest Update: berufsverband-sexarbeit.de)

When we have a closer look at the facts, then we need to consider that the clients of male escorts are usually not total strangers and that it would be possible to contact them later on in case of an infection. Furthermore, those clients aren`t hormonally ineligible people and have a keen interest in their health. Additionally, male prostitution is usually a one to one business transaction between two men, and gangbangs are the absolute exception. The general public also has a wrong perception regarding the number of clients of gay escorts. Who believes that sex workers serve twenty clients daily is mistaken. Usually, every physiotherapist has more clients than us.

Let`s continue with the topic of hygiene. It is not dirty in brothels or Sado Maso studios since hygiene has been mandatory for everyone involved. After a customer leaves, windows are opened for fresh air, the floor is wiped, towels and the cover on the bed are replaced, and toys such as collars, masks, chains, or straps are disinfected. The Corona related hygiene requirements had been standard in many studios before.

If a country doesn`t want to ban its citizens from having sex with each other in general, then this kind of self-decision should also apply to sex work. Commercially organized sex workers are usually even more careful due to their economic interests. The main reason is not just the escort`s body and client`s health being the sex workers‘ capital but also the introduction and enforcement of additional and clear hygiene rules.

But what is happening? Does anybody talk to us? Does anybody work together with us on solutions? No! Prostitution remains illegal months after hairdressers were allowed to cut bangs and other hairstyles again. But everybody being involved was aware that prostitution would continue somewhere and somehow.

Erotik Fantasie Daddy und Sohn mit SM Master Andre alias Dominus.Berlin in Leder Outfit mit Hemd weiß und Handschuh
The fact is that sex work consisting of quick meetings in private apartments, or public toilets is taking place with less hygiene nowadays. Therefore the ban is from a pure epidemiological perspective total nonsense. This is clear discrimination and exclusion on the grounds of „lack of controllability of hygienic concepts“. We realize that those arguments are somewhat made up when we read sentence by sentence of each of the individual state governments‘ statements. Just like years ago, during the AIDS-Thematic, it seems to be all about morals once again. And let`s ask another question. Why do some who buy a blow job commit right away in that second a hefty offense depending on the state in Germany and in contrast, the reciprocal oral penetration through dating portals such as Grindr or Tinder, don`t get punished with fines? The Coronavirus does not get transmitted through payments. It is also evident that the little people are being hit first again, confirmed by Ralf Rötten, managing director of HILFE-FÜR-JUNGS e.V.; „Especially those sex workers, who are most discriminated are also the ones during the Corona Crisis who have to make the most sacrifices.“

Rötten is also convinced that the way those sex workers are currently treated will make the overall situation worse. „Using a pandemic as a cheap excuse to protect sex workers against their wishes from possible dangers and risks is not democratic nor emancipatory and also has nothing to do with feminism. The questionable alliance of bible loyal Christians, social democrats, and hardcore feminists will deepen the struggle of sex workers and increase infections with sexually transmitted diseases. The best protection against exploitation, oppression, and sexually transmitted infections remain the open education and response to questions regarding health, sexuality, and self-determination in a society, which has been proven during the fight against AIDS during the last 35 years.“

The main issue with the overall debate is that people don`t distinguish between forced and voluntary prostitution. I would finally wish for a clear separation between the crimes related to prostitution and sex work. I would expect from today`s society that it should be possible to address a specific problem without destroying the career choice of more than 40,000 people (registered by authorities alone). And in that context, it is not acceptable to try to make them look like victims to make life-changing decisions on their behalf. We would appreciate, if people would talk to us sex workers – and not about us. Especially these days, it is essential to be aware that people abuse the term moral to hurt and hit thousands of sex workers in their faces after it was previously argued that gay people are worthless from an ethical perspective.

Andre Nolte alias Dominus Berlin works as a sex worker and is speaker of the Berufsverbandes für erotische & sexuelle Dienstleistungen e.V.

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