348 Sex Workers
➤ Use role plays to
condom use with your
clients. Ask other sex
workers to practice
Negotiating condom use
In order to get more men to use condoms, men must believe
that it is in their own interest and that of their sex partners to
prevent STIs, including HIV. This kind of education is best done
at the community level.
As a sex worker, you can help by joining together with other
sex workers to make condom use the expected or normal
practice. Then clients will begin to want to use condoms.
When you are with clients, your attitude is important. If you
believe in yourself and know what you are talking about, you are
more likely to convince a man that condom use makes good
sense. Here are some ideas:
• Explain that condoms can:
- protect him as well as you from disease.
- make him less likely to pass on STIs to his wife.
- make his pleasure last longer.
• Assure him that you will still make sex good for him.
• If you offer oral
sex, learn to put
the condom on
with your mouth.
A sex worker in Duala, Cameroon, tells how she and her co-workers
In the discotheque where I work, we understand the risk to our health and our
lives from HIV and AIDS, so all the girls are given condoms. We teach our clients
that it is in their own interest to protect themselves. Most clients now agree. We
make sure that the act will be enjoyable, so they will come back for more.
But there are always those men who think that by not using condoms, they are
being ‘real men’. That going ‘live’ is getting the real thing. We almost always find
that after a guy has tried without luck to get 4 or 5 of us to have unsafe sex, he
will either just leave or agree to see if he can have just as much pleasure with a
condom on. If he insists on unsafe sex, we gather together and chase him out!
We do not like to lose clients, but we value our lives and our health. Slowly,
things are changing. Where we work, using condoms has become the smart thing.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012