With the festive season around the corner, some commercial sex workers in Bulawayo are literally running a promotion in which they are reportedly offering extra-sexual services to clients who would have paid for their services in foreign currency.
The seemingly shocking move which prostitutes say is to offset the “free-falling” bond, came hard in the wake of a number of companies and service providers who are now demanding foreign currency for their goods and services.
In a snap survey conducted by B-Metro, it emerged that a number of innovative sex workers have embraced the idea of offering extra-sexual services to clients who would have paid for their services in foreign currency.
In separate interviews the commercial sex workers said the move was also necessitated by the bond note that has continued to lose ground on the black market and continued to rise in plastic and mobile money transactions.
They said high demand for foreign currency has consequently resulted in unforeseen change in business deals and not even them (sex workers) have been spared as they now decry increased rentals.
“We have devised new ways to adapt to these harsh economic conditions where everyone now demands foreign currency for their goods and services and as a result we are now running a promotion where we offer extra-sexual services to clients who pay in foreign currency.
“You see, men go for women who look younger and I am using foreign currency to buy the make-up for me to keep looking good and younger hence we have opted to reward clients who are brave enough to buy our services in foreign currency.
“But the major drawback is that the precious dollar is found on the parallel market,” a sex worker, who identified herself as Prim, said.
She added: “Life’s getting more expensive, and we can’t work at a loss”.
For a short time, the price stood at US$3 while rates for a night are adjusted to between US$6 and US$15 depending on the place and night spot which the commercial sex worker would be operating from.
Another commercial sex worker who also did not want her name mentioned and identified herself as Judy explained that things were no longer rosy for them as some landlords, especially for those who are staying in town are now demanding rentals in foreign currency.
She revealed that she lives in a flat that demands US$100 per room in rentals.
“The life of women involved in prostitution is now at best unstable and at worst extremely dangerous. People think prostitution is about having consensual sex for money to buy food. It’s not.
“We are also running other projects that demand payment in foreign currency and some landlords are now demanding rentals in foreign currency.
“We are acutely aware of the devastating poverty that is gripping the country because of the Government’s austerity policies.
“However, as a way to help us survive these problems we have suggested that we offer extra sexual services to clients who would have paid for our services in foreign currency,” said Judy.
One disappointed buyer Admire Ncube noted that there was a significant decline in the demand of sex from commercial sex workers as most buyers (men) have little disposable incomes owing to stagnant earnings.
“Now is the time we should party and drink responsibly and it is those that need the services of sex workers that are set to suffer,” said Ncube.
Meanwhile, according to a recent UNAids report, Zimbabwe which has the fifth highest HIV prevalence rate in Africa is recording 250 new HIV infections weekly, a development which HIV and Aids activists said hinders progress towards ending Aids by 2030.