Keeping Safe in NZ
New Zealand decriminalised sex work in 2003, giving us the right to work without persecution.
We are one of the few places in the world with this kind of legislation.
The PRA 2003, Section 9: Sex Workers and Clients must adopt safer sex practices
(1) A person must not provide or receive commercial sexual services unless he or she has taken all reasonable steps to ensure a prophylactic sheath or other appropriate barrier is used if those services involve vaginal, anal, or oral penetration or another activity with a similar or greater risk of acquiring or transmitting sexually transmissible infections.
(2) A person must not, for the purpose of providing or receiving commercial sexual services, state or imply that a medical examination of that person means that he or she is not infected, or likely to be infected, with a sexually transmissible infection.
(3) A person who provides or receives commercial sexual services must take all other reasonable steps to minimise the risk of acquiring or transmitting sexually transmissible infections.
(4) Every person who contravenes subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
Why should you care about this law?
The majority of STIs do not present any obvious symptoms. Therefore, you may have something without realising it, and potentially pass this on to other partners. We are aware many of our clients do not get regularly tested, and this means it is more important for us to practice safe sex. There is a growing trend of providers offering natural oral, especially in Australia, and it is becoming more prevalent in New Zealand too. It is possible to contract oral STIs, and these are often asymptomatic.
The common STIs are becoming resistant to current antibiotics, which means there are some strains which are not easily cured anymore. Furthermore, serious STIs like syphilis are making a return - this can be fatal if left untreated. I am deeply uncomfortable seeing clients who are comfortable with taking the risk of not using condoms.
The law is less certain around providers receiving oral, and many providers offer this without a form of protection.
However, this can put sex workers at risk of contracting infections such as thrush, BV, UTIs as well as the STIs including HPV and Trichomoniasis. Sex workers can pass on thrush, HPV, and STIs including chlamydia, and gonorrhoea through allowing DATY, as these can be contracted in the throat.
For those who engage in rimming, or analingus, this can transmit Hepatitis A and B, intestinal parasites like Giardia, and bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Consider getting the Hepatitis A vaccine.
Everyone who is sexually active should get regularly tested. Ask for throat swabs too
How do I keep myself safe?
I get a full STI test every 3 months. My tests include mouth and throat swabs, vaginal and cervical swabs, and blood tests for HIV and Syphilis. I regularly perform self-checks to watch for changes which could signal an issue.
I do not shave within 12 hours of bookings to reduce the risk of micro-cuts in which make me more susceptible to infections such as HIV which are spread through the bloodstream.
I only use mouthwash within two hours of our session as brushing my teeth just prior to kissing increases my risk of oral infections through small abrasions in the gums.
I am up to date with all my vaccinations as well as HPV, Hepatitis A and B, and influenza.
I do not work when I have any contagious infections such as a sore throat or cold.
I use lube every time to reduce excessive friction which risks condom breakage.
I may change the condom between oral and sex due to my sensitivity with saliva.
Between rounds, I require you to shower to ensure all fluids are washed away.
I use my dominant hand for play on you, and my other hand on me to reduce the likelihood of transmitting fluids.
I would appreciate if you also adopted this practice during our sessions.