In an interview with Insider, licensed prostitute Alice Little called for a higher revenue split as a kind of hazard pay, along with better representation for sex workers, as Nevada’s legal brothels plan to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Little told journalist Julia Naftulin that Nevada sex workers aren’t being compensated appropriately for the coronavirus transmission risks they’ll have to take when they return to work. Little is campaigning for sex workers to receive 60% of revenue earned from sex worker services during the pandemic, instead of the usual 50/50 split with brothel owners. Little said this industry standard should be adjusted to account for the health risks that sex workers take in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are the ones essentially taking on all of the risk. If we’re the ones that are putting ourselves out there intimately with people from all over the country, even all over the globe sometimes, we deserve recognition for that and to ask for something like a 10% increase [in the money we take home]…I don’t think that that’s unrealistic or unfair,” Little told Insider.
Little acknowledges that Nevada’s brothels are doing something to implement COVID-19 safety protocols, such as temperature checks, enhanced cleaning, and social distancing measures, but Little recognizes that these methods are not foolproof, since anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus.
Little is especially concerned that sex workers were apparently not consulted about any of the brothels proposed safety procedures.“One of the things that concerns me is that no one is talking to the workers themselves. No one’s talking to us and saying, ‘What sorts of things do you need to feel safe?'” Little said.
Little said that, overall, Nevada’s sex workers are eager to return to work despite the pandemic, as the business shutdowns resulting from the virus have caused serious financial difficulties for a majority of licensed prostitutes.
“This is our career. This is how we make a living, and so it’s been very, very impactful,” Little said.
Since the early 1970s, Nevada has been the only state in the U.S. to legalize prostitution in the form of licensed and regulated brothels. In March, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered all nonessential businesses in the state to shut down for thirty days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His order specifically named brothels among these nonessential businesses.
Sisolak’s phase two reopening plan, which went into effect on May 29th, allows several non-essential businesses to resume operations under restrictions, but adult entertainment establishments are among the businesses not yet allowed to reopen. The Governor has yet to announce exactly when the state’s legal brothels will be permitted to restart.
The full Insider article can be viewed here: https://www.insider.com/sex-worker-alice-little-pay-brothel-workers-more-health-risks-2020-6
Little can also be found on YouTube, where Little started an educational series intended to reframe society’s view of prostitution: https://www.youtube.com/alicelittletv