Venesco – part 2
An other publication for Venesco: Association of Dutch Escort Companies
On June 11, we already informed you about Venesco, The Association of Dutch Escort Companies. In her capacity as spokeswoman for the association, Marike, owner of escort service Society Service, was in the news several times more often. You can read an other publication here.
22 June 2020: Newspaper Telegraaf Vrouw
On June 22, the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf published an article in their newspaper, in the section Vrouw, which translates to “Woman”. In the article escort Alice from Society Service talks about how much she wants to go back to work. Marike from the Association of Dutch Escort Companies was also interviewed. You can find and read the article below.
Escorts want to go back to work: New protocol should allow sex workers to restart quickly
Escorts across the country feel like they’ve been left out by the government. The corona crisis put a stop to all their income from one day to the next, but they do not have to count on any financial help. High class escort Alice (23) also gets nothing. “After always paying taxes, this is the thanks I get”
As it looks now, escorts will be able to return to work on September 1, when another series of corona easing measures is implemented. Casinos, saunas and nightclubs, among others, may then reopen, and sex workers may resume their work, provided that no second wave of contamination has been detected in the meantime. Nonsense, according to the Association of Dutch Escort Companies. As far as the association is concerned, the forced break has lasted long enough and escorts can get back to work much earlier. “Escort companies and escorts have been following strict guidelines to minimize the spread of infectious diseases since long before the corona crisis, in accordance with the National Hygiene Guideline for Sex Companies and Sex Workers,” said spokeswoman Marike van der Velden. She therefore emphasizes that there is no danger in a quick restart.
Escort Alice agrees. The income of the 23-year-old student at the VU Amsterdam has completely dried up since mid-March and there is no financial safety net from the government. “Because we work via an Opting-in scheme, a psuedo employement, we as escorts are not entitled to anything. Opting-in means that we do not work as an employee and also not as a self-employed person. This is ideal for me: I decide for myself when I work, but I don’t have to worry about paying premiums. My escort agency does that for me.” Because Alice is a high class escort, the starting rate is high: from 700 euros per 2 hours. This also means that the tax percentage to be paid is high. “That is why it feels so wrong: I have been paying a decent amount to the government every month for two years, but now I do not receive anything in return in the form of entitlement to emergency financial arrangements.“
Before the corona crisis, Alice had a booking with a client about once or twice a week. Her work is an outlet for her: she finds every appointment an adventure and she meets the most interesting people, she says. “It is precisely by not doing it that often that it remains exciting. A booking takes at least two hours, but often longer. Because I work in the high class segment I see the most diverse people. Doctors, scientists, politicians, people who work a lot, have earned money trading bitcoins… Usually people who are looking for someone to talk to after a busy work or conference day in the city: someone to share their stories with and have a pleasant evening with. For example, first go out for a luxurious dinner or drink something at a cocktail bar, and then continue to a hotel.That usually involves intimacy, but that’s not the main point: We take a bath, massage each other or have a drink. High class escorts also kiss, unlike sex workers from other segments. When we have sex, it is of course always safe. We always have the necessary protection and cleaning products with us. Hygiene is therefore very normal for us, that has always been the case. Moreover, our contact with a client is almost always one-on-one. Why is a hairdresser who comes close to the faces of perhaps thirty clients on a daily basis, allowed to work and not me? I cannot imagine that I am a greater risk of infection.”
To speed up a restart, the association recently drafted the Protocol for Escort Companies, which further tightens hygiene measures and the general rules for bookings. The protocol states, among other things, that, prior to each booking, a health check is carried out with both client and escort and clients from risk groups are no longer accepted. The number of appointments per week will also be reduced to a maximum of one per week per escort and the escort will receive additional gloves and a mouth mask for herself and the client. Alice is eager to start again. “I hope we can get through to the government. We escorts work completely legally and also have rights. I just want to get back to work.”