Technology and the internet making sex work safer.

Hazel Lifa Avatar

Technology has been reshaping the world we live in, making things easier or faster. The Covid19 pandemic made it clear that most professions needed to adapt to the digital way of doing things to survive. Sex work was no exception.

One of the oldest professions known to man experienced the same pinch many of us faced and like everyone else they lost business and couldn’t provide for themselves. Many sex workers in Zimbabwe risked severe beatings from military police during lockdown in search of customers.

The internet’s impact

They adapted to the curfew that forced most to operate during the day but many still struggled and I thought what about the internet. The World Wide Web and technology of cameras has been evolving this profession and creating new dynamics to it.

The name itself sex work has become this umbrella term that encompasses so many variations of sex work like poll dancing, cam girls, escorts and the popular prostitution amongst many others. For us, in Zimbabwe, a sex worker is a prostitute full stop.

The internet has created new avenues of sex work were sex workers don’t have intercourse with customers like webcam girls/boys. This type of sex worker posts pictures or videos on websites like Chaturbate and MyFreeCams where customers pay a fee to watch, no sex involved.

The internet way of sex work ensures the safety of sex workers since it can be done at home and with money exchanging over payment methods like PayPal there is no risk of a customer taking back money after the service is done. All these issues are commonly raised among Zimbabwean sex workers who have been abused, duped out of payment and forced to engage in sex without protection by customers.

How sex work can be digitalised in Zim

I know at this point many are thinking this only applies to developed countries that have easy access to the equipment and internet needed bla bla bla. Humour me; when you ask prostitutes why they do what they do, it’s usually because of poverty, they have no choice and most don’t like the job. Organisations like Pow Wow advocate for sex workers and grant aid in trying times like during lockdown. But is this way of assisting creating long-lasting solutions?

Organisations like Pow Wow could shift some of their efforts towards programmes that teach sex workers about this digital and most importantly safer way of conducting their business. This way of sex work also expands their clientele and lowers the risk of sexually transmitted infections or diseases for both customer and sex worker.

Some will ask what about their local clients who can’t afford Wi-Fi or data? Well in all honesty this is coming from a place of empathy for the vulnerable sex workers who with the kind of profit is online could finally go to school and leave the business altogether. Have options.


What’s your take?

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  1. Anonymous

    Sad to see, techzim covering sich things in the name of tech. Advocating for prostitution, lile really in christian country like. And by the way we all know these so called businesses are destroying homes or marriages as we speak.

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      Yes, and there were no sex works in the Bible. Jesus said that some of these people were going to enter heaven to some people’s surprise.

    2. First Farai

      Are you also mad at the Bible which at various points covered such things??

  2. Imi vanhu musadaro

    You have been misled that the cause for sex work is poverty. It is a factor for some, yes, but even the worlds strongest economies have sex workers, its s even legalised/taxed in some instances.

    Try offering some of these “vulnerable” people alternative work options, then you will see that for some of them it’s a voluntary profession.

    Just like every thief claims it’s for “survival”, because sex work is taboo, most sex workers will lean to having no choice or being a victim of circumstance in order to garner sympathy.

    You have good ideas, please add a section for Digital Sex Workers, just below the List of App Developers… 😜

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      And there is no poverty in these countries because wealth is evenly distributed. What sort of options are you claiming these people are being offered? In Zimbabwe, the leading cause is poverty that assertion is based on fact rather than supposition.

  3. TnashMkz

    πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚these comments though. The irony in all of this is that the very people saying these things have already consumed the same media made the exactly the same way, most likely on WhatsApp in their group chats. Also I would say Hazel is on point on with the technical aspects of the article but I would say dig deeper. The topic is actually much more nuanced then most people are aware of.

  4. Anonymous

    Is sex or prostitution really “work”? I think we are encouraging immorality by recognizing this as “work” we are making this bad behavior legitimate by giving good names

    1. First Farai

      The participants will be working my friend. Strenuously too at that

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