I haven't blogged for a while – so apologies.
Since my last few notes the world has changed dramatically. Here are my personal thoughts on how I think the adult industry will be affected and my place in it.
On social media (especially Twitter) there are plenty of models/performers saying how eager they are to start shooting and making plans who they want to shoot with. Many are saying they are going to have the party to end all parties "when this is over". No harm in planning or dreaming or looking forward to doing something which has been illegal for a long time. This is part of our human psyche. We all need something to look forward to especially during tough times. They don't come a lot tougher than this.
The government will want to get the economy re-started asap so it's not in their interest (or businesses) to drag this out. As soon as there's a glimmer of the virus receding, restrictions will be relaxed very gradually (as per Spain & Italy and several other countries). Schools will start re-opening and smaller businesses. I believe social distancing for the vast majority of the UK population will continue for months in some form - we were told yesterday “at least until the end of the year” Once the government rolls out testing on a national scale so everyone has access to the tests - both types of tests - will social distancing begin to be lifted slowly. No-one wants to see a return of the virus or we will be back to square one.
I've always been an optimist but try and temper this with realism. My personal viewpoint is that when social distancing is relaxed, we will see the government allowing (maybe) small groups to meet. Large groups (such as sports, concerts, congregations, rallies etc) will not be allowed until later. Possibly not until a vaccine is rolled out.
Reading reports from various publications around the world (especially Japan & USA) regarding how the adult industry will possibly look once the restrictions are lifted - all seem to be unanimous in that this will change the industry dramatically. The adult industry is arguably one of the most resilient & health conscious businesses in the world. We have been ensuring performers are sti free and don't work unless they have a certificate to prove this. We have seen "new" or mutated sexual viruses make an appearance from time to time and many producers insist on performers getting tested for these. So, in one way the adult industry is used to dealing with new viruses but not a virus without a cure (yet) or a counter measure such as Prep.
I don't think any performer will feel it's totally safe to work with another performer until a genuine vaccine is produced and available. This won't happen until next year - maybe. If a vaccine is available later this year it will be prioritised for key workers. The general public will get immunised later in 2021 or 2022. Assuming there will be a vaccine which works! Of course we've heard about the antibodies testing (which at time of writing no antibody tests have been government approved) and these will go some way to giving people peace of mind but again only when they are available to the general public. Key workers will always come first. And so they should.
Sex workers (adult performers & escorts) will balance risk with reward. We do this daily – even crossing a busy road has risks. Some will need an income just to survive and will be prepared to take the risks. This is an individuals choice. I would never judge anyone for making a choice.
There are several scenarios as to the outcome. As a producer, photographer and party host I make adult material, shoot fetish and glamour and hold sex parties. So I cover the main aspects of the adult market. From my perspective I wouldn't be comfortable arranging a shoot unless everyone involved (performers and crew) could prove they were virus free and/or immune. In other words, everyone on the set will need some sort of certificate or proof they either don't have the virus or are immune to it. I'm particularly nervous of working with anyone who is a risk as I'm in a vulnerable age bracket. But a producer in his/her 30s should think the same way. All genuine producers put H&S at the top of the list. The game has now changed and anyone involved in working with others should think this way.
I'm sure a number of performers/producers will "bend the rules" as they will be keen to get back to work to start earning. We will see shoots scheduled once social distancing is relaxed but these could be premature. If the government makes wearing masks mandatory for a long time it will complicate matters in the industry. It all depends on what rules we have to follow. These rules will be fluid over time so we will have to see. It's all crystal ball stuff!
The party scene is another story because it involves civilians. It's very unlikely I will be doing any more parties this side of 2021. I wouldn't want to arrange a party unless I knew that everyone (the girls & guests) were all virus free and can prove it. Anyone who goes ahead and arranges a big event (or a small one!) is asking for trouble. I would not attend any events or large meetings unless I've had a test showing I am virus free, immune or best of all - vaccinated. Understandably, people are keen to get back to normal but there will be a new normal. We better get used to it when it happens.
There's no harm in stating (optimistic) dates later this year for adult industry events. It's important to pencil in dates, but in all honestly I can't see any large events (over 500) happening (safely) until the end of the year or later. The swinging scene is even more keen to get people swinging again as many have clubs with overheads. Plus they will have an overheated swinging community desperate to pay to swap fluids. On the sex party scene few hosts own clubs and at least professionals are hired who are used to getting their health checked.
Because many performers are getting used to new skills and making custom videos and so on, the more sensible ones will not return to performing until there is a strong safety net. There will be others who are prepared to risk their health for cash and for their "brand". The adult industry doesn't have many virologists working in it but some will turn into amateur experts and think it's all ok. Watch out for the Dr Googles.
Summing it up from my view - I certainly won't work with anyone until it's allowed and safe to do so. Safe for me and safe for my customers and anyone I book for a shoot. The time frame for this is anyone's guess. No one knows for sure when this will be. Over the next few weeks hopefully we'll get some clarity as all businesses must have clarity to survive. The internet is full of rumours and most can be discounted . I don't believe them, just as I'm a cynic of government statements. I'm not interested in theories - all I'm interested in is hearing there is an authorised antibody test available to all and subsequently a safe vaccine.
As I said – these are my personal views and people are welcome to disagree with them. But one thing is certain. The world will be a different one when the virus is controlled. That includes the adult industry.
Stay safe. Stay sane.