Without Vaccine Priority, Sex Workers Are Risking Their Lives to Keep Working



Do other jobs not exist?




restaurant workers are already in line behind prisoners and the homeless, why not prostitutes as well at this point...


Yeah. This is ridiculously misguided. His damned first responders and essential front line workers can’t get vaccines. But sure. Let’s put prostitutes— who, along with Johns, actively spread disease — ahead of everyone. Let’s prioritize that. It wouldn’t be political suicide or anything.


Maybe it's time to look into another line of work. Safeway is hiring, and they're good union jobs.


Perhaps not as lucrative as turning tricks, but it's good honest work for a change.


Where is the laugh emoji when you really need it?


Another example of adult recreation before child education. COVID morality is upside down.


@#5: Sex work is work, honest work, you may not approve, but that's your problem not theirs.

Until sex work is decriminalized it will remain a dangerous profession


Wear a mask, use a condom (and/or dental dam). Wait in line for the vaccine.


As long as vaccine supply is limited, putting one group ahead means another gets delayed. Who do they propose?


This is straight hilarious. How do you validate a claim that someone is a sex worker? Do they need a reputable pimp to vouch for them? While we are at it, other criminals are also putting themselves at risk. Who's speaking for the heroin dealers? I've heard junkies are notoriously anti-mask!


@9 No. For once that broken clock is right. Look. Sex work should be legalized for sure. But that is an entirely separate issue.

What this post is proposing that some political movement or priority be established that will put sex workers ahead in the cue on vaccines. Which, when teachers and first responders have yet to be fully vaccinated, is as nonsensical as it is political suicide.

Sex workers are always vectors for spreading disease. This is exacerbated by a pandemic. We could legalize sex work but that will not make more vaccines available. Vaccines are in very short supply and must be targeted to people who are in crucial positions or in signifiant populations of vulnerable people first makes the most sense.

Asking sex workers to seek other safer employment during a pandemic if at all possible is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask.


This entire vaccine rollout has been a complete joke on multiple levels. I personally know retired boomers who don't even need to leave the house (but don't hesitate to pack into casinos), work-from-home healthcare administrators, and wealthy people who aren't even eligible to be in the first wave, who have all been vaccinated. Meanwhile grocery workers, food service industry employees, and teachers who are forced to interact with the public will probably still be waiting a few more months to get the poke, which seems ridiculous.


@14 it is ridiculous. But blame that on a population of entitled lunatics that can simultaneously believe the pandemic is an exaggerated hoax and will not acquiesce to any intrusion into their blessed existence by government — and — demand to get a vaccine for this exaggerated hoax while gaming the governments ability create a fair distribution method.


More info:




That url is the first link ("Exhibit A") in the story. More importantly, anything linking to the aptly-named Mr. Rantz should be labeled "less info," or "more hot air," or some other truthful descriptor which warns the reader that clicking the link will simply waste time.


Anyone can make a case to be first in line.


So many trolls today! Wowza.


This is some funny stuff. All the posters are acting like they know a ho’.


@9 - whether you think sex work is "honest work" or not, it is NOT essential. We are prioritizing certain occupations because society will not function without them. Hookers are not one of these groups. And I don't quite know what the article is whining about - closing the strip clubs was exactly the right thing to do. It's hard to imagine anything better for spreading virus than lots of people drinking and crowding up next to the stage (almost like a Trump rally, now that I think about it), let alone the lap dances etc.


Natalie, thank you for reporting on the plight of the most marginalized group in King County. if smug, self righteous arrogance could kill Covid-19, then King County services would have beat the virus months ago.

@3: You don't beat a pandemic by only vaccinating the people you morally approve of you idiot. To a virus we are all a piece of meat. You beat a pandemic by vaccinating those most at risk of becoming a vector due to direct contact and sex workers, along with healthcare workers and restaurant workers qualify.

@6: Because of worthless, judgmental fuckers like you many sex workers have a criminal record that makes "real work" impossible and many belong to marginalized communities not eligible for other work anyway. That and who the fuck are you to decide what real work is? What do you do for a living? I can guarantee you we would all be better off if you weren't around.

@13: "Sex workers are always vectors for spreading disease."
You say a lot of really stupid shit we have mostly learned to ignore, but the "sin causes disease" garbage is beneath even you and trust me, the bar is especially low for you dumbshit.

Show me one fucking epidemiological study that show sex workers are more of a "vector of disease" than anyone else who comes into close contact with people such as healthcare workers or restaurant workers. Sex workers literally depend on their health to earn a pay check and don't have health benefits with their work, so they are far more careful than most. During WWI the Army employed sex workers for soldiers because it "lowered the rate of disease. You want a common vector of disease? Look to stupid armatures who have unprotected sex out of "love."

@21: They're a lot more essential than the poverty pimps who run our criminal system. Besides, who the fuck are you to decide which humans are essential you fucking Nazi. They have kids to feed and rent to pay just like everyone else. If we are going to start deciding who counts as essential and who doesn't, you better move to the back of the line pal.

None of you need to worry about this. King County leads the country in harm escalation agianst sex workers through the pro cop rape Nordic model. You will all be proud to know that by comparison we make the Taliban look progressive and humane on this topic.


@2: Most people don't know that song is an anthem to high end escorts.

Well played my friend. Stay thirsty.

“The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men, but rather their conqueror, an outlaw, who controls the sexual channels between nature and culture”
― Camille Paglia


Maybe Sparks needs to find a different fucking line of work.


@22 - Thanks for twisting what I said and bringing up the good old Nazi trope, asshole. I never said sex workers were not essential as human beings. For the record, I'd legalize prostitution tomorrow if it were up to me. I don't give a damn whether you want to fuck people for money or not. It's not my business.

I said (and I'll stand by it) that sex work is not essential to keep society functioning while we figure out how to beat this pandemic. Do you REALLY believe that prostitution is as necessary to keeping things going as teachers, doctors, nurse, grocery workers, etc.? Whether any group of people needs a job or has kids to feed is not what determines whether they are "essential workers." What matters is whether the population in general needs to have their job done. And if no one did any sex work for a few months, we'd all be just fine. I don't think you can say the same for most of the people who HAVE been categorized as essential. So go fuck yourself with your bullshit "Nazi" namecalling.


Despite having months - MONTHS! - to plan a distribution scheme that was transparent, easy to navigate and equitable, the state instead manage to bollix the whole thing royally.

First, you go to a state website to see IF you're eligible. If you ask the questions correctly, you get a no-questions-asked e-mail to print out saying you are. No effort to verify; especially that they've now made everyone over 50 eligible (all you have to do is when they ask if you're in a 'multigenerational household', you pull a 'Dr. Galazkiewicz' [remember the Bud Light 'Yes, I am!' guy?] and answer yes. Fuck it, nobody checks, and there's no sanction if you are caught).

Then it's up to YOU to visit scores of different websites, trying to find a clinic where you can get the jab (unless you happen to know an insider who can get you in). Everyone has a different system. Some, like downtown's Indian Health Bureau, were giving shots to anyone over 50 whether they were indian or not.

Meanwhile, every local pol just can't resist making this a racial thing. As soon as it comes out that Overlake and other hospitals are giving VIP jabs to big donors, Mayor Durkan loses no time beating that tired 'those poor BIPOCs' drum.

By obsessing over 'equity', they managed to create about as inequitable a system as they could get. When you have a system that doesn't engender trust, it should not surprise you that lots of people will game the system or (like the hookers) try to make a case that they're 'special'. Why not? Union grocery workers, minorities, and pretty much everybody else does.

They probably should've just started with the oldest and worked down, and not obsesses over reaching out to communities that are vaccine-leery. Let's face it - it's more important to get as many people vaccinated as fast as possible rather than waste time and resources trying to sell the jab to people who are too fucking stupid to realize the benefit, especially when there's no shortage of people who want it.


Of course, we're talking about the same state government that managed to throw over a half-billion dollars at Nigerian princes, and a fair amount of money at illegal aliens for good measure, even while legal WA state residents are STILL waiting for their UI money.

One cannot expect too little from this bunch of 'woke' incompetents. They couldn't run a brothel, but at least they know what pronoun to use. Worst of all, despite the opportunity, the best the WA GOP could offer as an alternative was a dollar-store Trump knockoff. For Washingtonians, it's a 'lose-lose' situation - take you pick: incompetents or lunatics. Sad


@22 You sort of shoot yourself in the foot when you say you "usually ignore" somebody and then go about typing a long screed in reply. Especially using the royal "we?" Not that I don't deserve a little derision. But your argument —oof — was empty and vacuous.

I didn't read all of your pants-shitting rage but judging by the intensity and lack of reasoning I assume then that either you, or maybe your mom, sucked cocks for a living.

Good for you. I do not judge. I believe it should be entirely legal for you or your mom to suck cock for money and you should be paid and not exploited. So let us dispense with those insults for now and get to the meat (pun intended).

Your claims that sex workers are not a well known vector for disease is as ludicrous as it is contradictory. As I shall point out. You can google as well as I can. One of the first hits among DOZENS:

"Sexually transmissible infections among sex workers and their clients: variation in prevalence between sectors of the industry...
Conclusions: This study found high self-reported lifetime prevalence of infection among sex workers and their clients..."

It does go on to say " risk of infection is not equivalent across industry sectors."

Blah blah blah.

That prostitutes struggle to get clients to wear condoms must be for no reason, right? Since there is no exaggerated risk of STD or diseases inherent in fucking lots of people for money as you claim. right? HAHAHA. God.

This claim of yours that there is nothing inherently risky in the transmission of disease from sex work also TOTALLY CONTRADICTS then the necessity to fucking vaccine them during a pandemic.

Which is dipshit? Are they at risk or are they not? Anyway. You can use Google as well, sweet cakes.

Nobody cares what the Army did 100 years ago. You don't think the field of epidemiology has advanced since then? Just nonsense.

Regardless what you failed to address in that mess of irrelevancies and contradictions is why sex workers should get priority over other groups in a pandemic.

Absent from your screed was your list of priority or even recognition that the vaccine supply is limited.

Please tell us which groups should get bumped? Old people? Patients on chemo? Nurses? Teachers? List out who moves behind sex workers. Which would include strippers, etc. Go ahead and make your fucking list (pun intended), asshole. We'll wait.

But this is all academic. Because the real problem isn't a case of health risk assessments or moral judgments. Its POLITICAL, dumbfuck. You think Joe Biden is going to go on TV and say "Sorry front line workers in industry X, you get bumped for three months because we have to reserve an unknown quantity of vaccines and hunt down and find all the sex workers who work anonymously in the shadows."

Look. You may be well intend. But this is not going to happen. Nobody is going to do it. And I looked and looked for other more progressive nations in Europe and what rank they put sex workers and I can see that they have no more priority that any one else as far as I can find.

So you can rage out your impotent anger into the void that Americans won't do the things you want. I mean, join the club. I feel you. But reality will remain un-phased.


To summarize: If the operator of a bar or a roller rink or a movie theater decides to flout public health laws and as a result their business becomes a hub of new COVID infections, they're assholes and should be fined or worse. But if somebody operating an illegal, unlicensed entertainment business decides to flout those same public health laws and as a result their business becomes a hub of new COVID infections, they are not assholes at all; they are victims. They should not only not be fined, they should be moved to the front of the vaccine queue!

People operating legal, regulated entertainment businesses can fuck right off tho.

Seems legit.


No, we are not giving vaccine priority to prostitutes. Having sex with people for money is a choice, with assumed risks whose consequences are not to be other people’s problems.


Using Denmark as a template, and paying homage to our horny Viking heritage, Seattle sex workers should be given frontline status along with medical providers and administered the vaccine immediately. The sex trade, which should legitimized and normalized with trade union representation, is a real COVID flashpoint like emergency medical responders and restaurant workers, so these employees, who provide a legitimate, physiologically and psychologically beneficial service, should be afforded the opportunity to be inoculated ASAP. So much of the difficulty with deploying the vaccine relates to our puritanical heritage and reluctance to confront social sexual reality. We have all these lascivious Scandinavians with repressed sexual desires roaming the streets of our fair city, and their needs should be addressed as safely and socially responsibly as possible, to prevent the spread of this godforsaken scourge. All frontline workers should be be vaccinated ASAP: medical providers, sex workers, restaurant employees, teachers and so forth. Sex workers should be recognized as entrepreneurs and legitimate members of the downtown business community, with Rotary Club involvement and union representation. Also, let’s take a look at legalized drug-use safe injection sights administered by the King County Health Department, speaking of injections. Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE) and de-stigmatize these time honored pursuits of copulation and recreational drug-use, our Puritan heritage and fear of love and social tranquility notwithstanding. This may be our most profound reckoning of Valentine’s Day and a huge increase in the quality of life for Seattlites.


"Vaccine priority" is an absurd concept, even if it does provide fun opportunities for people to argue about and broadcast what group they consider the most worthy. Anyone can spread it to multiple people, giving the vaccine to anyone and everyone contributes toward herd immunity WTHOUT the pointless and criminal wasting of unused vaccines.


@ #14: How to prioritize the vaccines is a wildly difficult scientific, political, economic and moral question. When the state dropped the eligibility age to 65, I signed up and received my first dose. I am a robustly healthy retired person, able and quite willing to self-isolate. (no casino going for me). I am apparently at risk just due to age, have some respiratory issues and am a caregiver for an adult disabled child. So where would you put me on the moral / vaccine deserving scale? I have puzzled over that question quite a bit, and do not have an answer. If I were the vaccine distribution decider guy, I would prioritize getting the schools opened just after frontline healthcare folks and first responders are taken care of.


@32 - You could come up with any number of defensible schemes for vaccine prioritization. But it's not about who "can give it to multiple people." It's about who is most at risk (i.e., old people are much much more likely to have a bad outcome from a Covid infection than young ones) and also who needs to stay healthy to keep things running while we address the pandemic.

@31 - I completely agree that prostitution should be legal and that they should have much better working conditions. It is not the state's business who you want to fuck or how much you do or don't want to charge for it. Hell, the Republicans have even been able to accept a hooker in the White House. But you can't (at least not with a straight face) put prostitutes in the same category as medical workers or even grocery store employees. You just can't.

A big fraction of the medical workers sick with Covid, or having to quarantine because their colleagues are, would be really bad news for the rest of us. Limited availability of prostitutes is not even in the same universe as limited availability of medical workers.

And no one working in the grocery stores because they are sick would mean that society as a whole does not get fed. That is a far cry from no one working on Aurora, which means that a small percentage of the population is denied a blow job until vaccines are available to everyone. That is hardly a crisis.

As to your assertion that our problems with vaccine deployment are relating to our puritanical heritage, just no. Many many problems in society ARE related to said puritanical heritage. This state is so much more uptight than many others that it is not even funny. But this (semi-serious - I suspect Nathalie may be winding us all up) discussion of vaccine priority for sex workers is the first time I have seen puritanism even mentioned along with vaccine distribution.


Were I a betting man, I would wager this silly little non-story has roots in one of The Stranger's sorest hobby-horses:

'Even then, Sparks said she wasn't surprised. "For a city that passed a head tax and then recoiled," Sparks said, "This tracks."'

Yes, we citizens forced repeal of a wasteful policy we opposed. We also made The Stranger's favorite politician, CM Sawant, look weak, foolish, helpless, impotent, out of touch, and thoroughly out of her depth. For revealing these unpleasant truths -- which The Stranger's self-described and self-praised journalism routinely fails to report -- The Stranger will punish us to the fullest extent it can. Even to the point of implicitly equating sex workers and their clients to doctors, nurses, elderly-home workers, the elderly themselves, and public-safety officers. Now, that's commitment to Lost Cause Mythology!


@31: "But you can't (at least not with a straight face) put prostitutes in the same category as medical workers or even grocery store employees."

Thank goodness. because I'm drawing the line at paying sex workers $5/hr extra for hazard pay.

What's up with that anyway? Grocery workers don't want to die for $16/hour? But they are fine with it for $21? I would have expected a requirement for the grocery chains to kick in $5/hour for better PPE, more frequent testing and maybe better healthcare coverage. Or better yet, shorter shifts. Hire some more unemployed people to reduce everyone's exposure times.


@36 - I hope you are already paying your sex workers the $15/hour wage. A lot of employers would try to stiff them on that point. Or screw them out of it.


@37: "stiff them on that point. Or screw them out of it."

I see what you did there. Fear not. For a fixed fee for a task, sex workers are going to make out handsomely on my 3 minutes.