WEIGHT: 59 kg
Services: Oral Without (at discretion), Humiliation (giving), Cunnilingus, BDSM, Slave
Data are available within the paper and supporting information files. Participants did not consent to having the full transcripts made available. However, additional excerpts related to the study findings that are not within the paper of supporting information may be requested by contacting the corresponding author, JE and senior author SG.
Understanding the dynamic nature of sex work is important for explaining the course of HIV epidemics. While health and development interventions targeting sex workers may alter the dynamics of the sex trade in particular localities, little has been done to explore how large-scale social and structural changes, such as economic recessions—outside of the bounds of organizational intervention—may reconfigure social norms and attitudes with regards to sex work.
We conducted focus group discussions with community members in rural eastern Zimbabwe in January-February Groups were homogeneous by gender and occupation and included female sex workers, married women, and men who frequented bars. The focus groups elicited discussion around changes comparing contemporaneous circumstances in to their memories of circumstances in in the demand for, and supply of, paid sex, and how sex workers and clients adapted to these changes, and with what implications for their health and well-being.
Transcripts were thematically analyzed. The analysis revealed how changing economic conditions, combined with an increased awareness and fear of HIV—changing norms and local attitudes toward sex work—had altered the demand for commercial sex.
In response, sex work dispersed from the bars into the wider community, requiring female sex workers to employ different tactics to attract clients. Hyperinflation meant that sex workers had to accept new forms of payment, including sex-on-credit and commodities.