By Piroschka van de Wouw and Stephanie van den Berg | Reuters
The Hague – Several dozen sex workers protested outside the Dutch parliament on Tuesday against a government decision to relax coronavirus restrictions for some professions, but not for sex work, which is normally legal in the Netherlands.
The protesters carried red umbrellas and signs that read “Blowjobs are real jobs” and “Sex work: Yes. Stigma: No. “
“I protest because sex workers are discriminated against. You can go to the hairdresser or a massage therapist, but you cannot go to a sex worker, ”said sex worker and candidate in the parliamentary elections in March, Yvette Luhrs.
Last week, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that so-called contact professions such as hairdressers and massage therapists could be reopened from Wednesday. He specifically ruled out sex work, saying it was impossible to be safe when people were in a job if it was in their nature to be very close to each other. The protesters in The Hague disagreed.
“I’m an S&M lover. It is not a problem at all to keep the distance of 1.5 meters. I can lock them up in a cage, stay away from them, (I can) even implement COVID rules, we can play doctor, I can put them on a dog leash. Anything is possible, I have a very long whip. So no risk at all, ”said a Rotterdam sex worker who identified herself as Princess Patricia.
The Dutch coronavirus infection numbers have increased slowly over the past few weeks. Health officials said Tuesday that the number of infections rose 7 percent from week to week to 31,984 people.