Coronavirus drives down CQ sex prices and safety
Sex workers who service the CQ region report that regular clients are taking advantage of the downturn in business to drive down both prices and professional standards.
'JJ' and 'Joanne' have seen a rapid decline in bookings in the last month but that doesn't necessarily mean men are staying at home.
JJ, who usually charges $120 per half-hour or $200 per hour, said that women who have come from overseas are "doing it cheap".
"The blokes make appointments but they don't show up," she said.
"Or they say they'll give you the work if you agree to do it without a condom."
Joanne, who regularly travels the Queensland coast between Bundaberg and Townsville, said there are still customers calling, but she's grounded herself at a friend's place for the foreseeable future.
Her regulars vary from miners and travellers to local husbands and fathers from the suburbs.
She was in Rockhampton until "a few days ago" and, soon after she left, heard local motel owners were turfing the travelling workers out.
"I hope this bloody coronavirus blows over soon so I can get back to normal," she said.
"I've got no family support to fall back on, no money coming in, but right now I'm more concerned about my health."
The manager of a South Rockhampton motel, who chose not to be named, said she has seen a downturn is clients from all walks of life, but has not declined any bookings to sex workers in particular.
"We've had business people who've been travelling through once a week for years put a stop to their bookings," she said.
"And since they cancelled elective surgeries at the hospital, we've seen a massive drop off."
Sex worker JJ, who lives and works from home in the Rockhampton suburbs, said she's a week away from bankrupt with pets to feed and bills to pay.
"I got two big bags of dog food from Pet Barn the other day and that cost me $125," she said.
"I don't have any certificates or diplomas so how am I supposed to get other work?
Following one of her most recent jobs - a grazier from a "big station out west" - JJ received a phone call from his wife.
"She must have been going through his phone and rang my number," she said.
"She said to me, 'What am I going to do about him sleeping around on me?" and I told her to book herself on a cruise.
"He won't know what she gets up to."
Having moved to Central Queensland from interstate, JJ said there is a marked difference in the locals' attitude towards using protection.
"The men here have no values towards women; they think they're just a lump of meat," she said.
"I've been telling them for years I won't work without using a condom so they just go get it from somewhere else.
"Frankly, they're dogs.
"I'm glad this virus has come along because maybe it will make them wake up they could die if they don't take precautions."