Sex work and Corona: protecting yourself and others

Dear sex worker,

You have already implemented hygiene and protective measures related to sexually transmitted infections and HIV to keep you and your body healthy. Keep at it, because this is still important!

This leaflet is to inform you about measures that you and your clients can take to significantly reduce the risk of infection with Corona.

Legal situation

The legal situation in Corona and sex work matters (what is allowed, prohibited, sometimes allowed…) differs from federal state to federal state and can change quickly. The best way to get information is at an advice centre or online, for example, here.

It is important that you explain the hygiene measures to your clients, but also that you refuse clients if they do not want to follow your rules. In your job, you set the rules!

If you have any questions, you can go to an advice centre or contact your state’s health authority. The professional associations for sex work can also provide you with more information.

Corona and Covid-19: the most important facts

  • SARS-CoV-2, the “novel” Coronavirus, is the pathogen that causes COVID-19. The viruses are transmitted via the smallest droplets. They are excreted by infected persons when they sneeze, cough and exhale, and inhaled by others or absorbed via the mucus membranes of the nose and mouth, or via the eyes.
  • The virus can also survive on surfaces and be transmitted in this way.
  • The Covid-19 disease mainly has mild symptoms, sometimes even no signs of illness at all. Frequent symptoms are a fever, coughing, cold symptoms and a loss of taste and smell.
  • However, Covid-19 can also have severe cases and can lead to death.
  • On average, symptoms occur 5–6 days after infection.
  • Even people who (still) don’t have any symptoms can transmit the virus: you are already infectious two days before symptoms occur, and you remain infectious for around a week.

Protection from Corona: the most important measures

Comply with the AHA rule: “Abstand, Hygiene, Alltagsmaske”. Distance, hygiene, mask.

Piktogramme zu Abstand Niesen Händewaschen und Mundschutz

The most important key words for protection against Corona in your everyday life are:

  • Distance: at least 1.5 metres if possible – with clients and also with colleagues
  • Hygiene: cough and sneeze correctly (not into your hand, but into a tissue or inside your elbow; turn away from other people), wash your hands regularly
  • Mask: (mouth and nose protection): if keeping your distance is not possible – use a fresh mask for you and your clients for each encounter.
verschiedene Piktogramme

Be prepared

At your place of work, you will need:

  • Hand sanitiser for you and your clients – normal soap works as well
  • Standard degreasing cleaning agent for the surfaces
  • A supply of single-use masks and tissues
  • A bin for used masks/tissues
  • A list to record the mobile numbers or email addresses of your clients – for example, you can store this in a sealed envelope (note down the date and time of the sexual service for each client; destroy the lists/envelopes after four weeks).
  • If possible: a mobile phone with the Corona warning app 

Do not work if you have symptoms!

  • Before you meet, ask the clients if they have a fever, a cough, cold symptoms or a loss of taste and smell. If a client admits to having these symptoms, refuse the service.

If you notice that you have these symptoms yourself, do not go to work, stay at home (alone, if possible) and call your doctor or the medical on-call service (free of charge on 116 117). If you do not have health insurance / identity documents, consult an advice centre for sex workers or a health department via telephone.

Corona: the most important hygiene and protective measures

Arranging appointments/conduct towards clients

  • Arranged appointment / initial contact via telephone or email, or at a distance of at least 1.5 m.
  • Inform your clients in advance about the limited offer of services and the hygiene/protective measures, as well as the consequences if they do not keep to the measures.
  • If you have the feeling that the client is not taking your rules seriously, do not arrange the appointment or cancel it.

The most important information for clients to receive in advance

  • The client should shower before the service (at home or at your place of work).
  • Sex only with a mask on – and only 1:1, this means 1 client, 1 sex worker.
  • Service with clients in a hotel: always air the hotel room for ten minutes beforehand, put fresh sheets on the bed, prepare fresh towels, prepare soap/cleaning agents – if this is not already prepared, it takes time away from what you agreed on.
  • If your rules are not adhered to: no service.

Limited offer of services

You can obtain information about Corona and sex work at

  • Important: only two people can participate in the erotic/sexual service – you and one client.
  • Only offer sex – including oral sex – with mouth and nose protection! During oral sex, the person receiving oral sex wears a mask.
  • No kisses on the mouth, face or neck.

And as always: use a condom!

“But I’m not sick, I don’t need a mask” – do not accept this excuse. People can be infectious without noticing anything of their infection. You are actually the most infectious shortly BEFORE your symptoms start to show.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly (30 seconds) with soap or use sanitiser before and after the erotic/sexual service
  • Do not cough or sneeze into your hand, use a tissue (and then dispose of it immediately) or into your elbow. When coughing or sneezing, always keep at least one metre distance and turn away from other people.
  • Always keep a distance of the length of your lower arm between your face and your client’s face.

Body lotion and hand cream prevent your skin from drying out

Rooms and laundry

By the way: according to the Prostitutes Protection Act, the persons and agencies in charge of the prostitution site are obligated to ensure a hygienic place of work.

  • Air the room for a good ten minutes before and after each client.
  • If possible, leave windows open slightly during the service.
  • If there is a break room, keep the windows open here as well.
  • Change your clothing, bed linen and towels after each client and then wash the with detergent according to the care instructions (detergent alone is sufficient to destroy the protective coating of the virus).
  • Wipe down surfaces (chairs, loungers, shelves etc.) in the room and bathroom after each service with a degreasing household cleaning agent.


Keep your distance (even in the break room – keep windows open if possible), wear mouth and nose protection, do not kiss/embrace, do not shake hands.

Visiting homes and hotels

  • Home visits: Ensure that the bathroom is clean, fresh bedsheets have been put on and that the room/apartment has been aired for 10 minutes.
  • For hotel visits, ensure that soap, clean towels and bed linen is available and that the rooms are cleaned every day.

Sex in cars

  • No more than two people in the car.
  • If possible, ensure the passage of air (opposite windows open a little), switch on the air conditioning to allow air in from outside.

Further tips and information

Get advice and support!

The Corona pandemic is making a lot of people anxious. They are worried about their own health and the health of others and are isolating from other people.

Anxiety can make you sick! If you notice that your behaviour is changing and anxiety is controlling your life, seek help. You are not alone!

Talking helps, get advice and support

Important addresses

Specialist advice centres for sex workers

You can find the addresses at the Bündnis der Fachberatungsstellen für Sexarbeiterinnen und Sexarbeiter (bufas e.V.) at

Professional associations

Berufsverband erotische und sexuelle Dienstleistungen e. V. (BeSD)
Köpenicker Str. 187/188
10997 Berlin
Tel.: +49 152 0461 7464

Bundesverband sexuelle Dienstleistungen e. V. (BSD)
Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg 10
10179 Berlin
Tel.: +49 174 9199246

Health authorities

You can find a health authority in your area by searching your postcode at

Telegram and WhatsApp information about Corona

The German Ministry of Health (BMG) offers information via the following services:

Corona hotlines

  • Independent patient advice in Germany: +49 800 011 77-22 (German), -23 (Turkish), -24 (Russian); Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sat 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., free of charge on all networks
  • German Ministry of Health: +49 30 346 465 100 (Mon – Thurs 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Fri 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Other languages

Deutsch: Sexarbeit und Corona
Spanisch: Trabajo sexual y coronavirus: Así te proteges a tí y a los otros
Bulgarisch: Сексуалните услуги и коронавирусът: Така ще предпазиш себе си и другите
Ungarisch: Szexmunka és a koronavírus: Hogyan védd magad és másokat