ADULT industry workers are calling on the Scottish Government to stop "pearl-clutching" and give them a clear route map out of lockdown.

Sex workers and lap dancers have said they are being left to decide whether or not to return to work with no safety advice or Covid-19 guidance.

Some workers say they are being pushed to move overseas where conditions are less well regulated and where their safety is compromised.

One dancer said: "Dancers across Scotland have been out of work since March 16 when the UK government advised against going to pubs and clubs without officially closing them.

"Since lockdown hit and then eased, our industry has been left out of conversations and left behind due to the nature of our jobs.

"Between the campaign to save them and now lockdown it is becoming increasingly frustrating to be left patiently waiting to see what the future holds for me and the other 700 dancers across Scotland.

"The last SEISS grant being due in August does not cover the time we have been out of work and leaves a lot of terrifying uncertainty for all of us.

"Some dancers are now considering leaving their home and families to work abroad in much less favourable conditions.

"We don't need people to love our work, only to acknowledge that it is deserving of the same grown up consideration given to every other industry.

"Pretending we don't exist does not solve the problem.

"We need clear answers on when we can safely go back to work and, as I'm sure many self employed workers will agree, better financial help to cover our inability to earn."

Last year dancers unionised to help try to protect jobs after proposed licensing changes in Glasgow created a threat to the future of lap dancing clubs in the city.

A new GMB Scotland branch was formed, led by Dominatrix Megara Fury, to protect the interests of the women working in the clubs.

A spokeswoman for the GMB said: "Adult industry workers across the board are being forced to make the decision to go back to work on their own with no support from the Scottish Government as published guidance does not cover the adult industry in any capacity.

"Dancers are dependant on clubs opening that have been closed since March 16.

"Many are now diversifying into less private adult work via subscription sites such as Admire Me or OnlyFans or going abroad where regulation and conditions are sub standard.

"This is not an ideal situation for many who chose dancing as a career due to the anonymity afforded and the safety of regulated UK clubs.

"Full service workers, Dominatrices and those in the porn industry have had no guidance on how to resume safely and government services are all geared towards coercing workers into exiting the industry, which is not practical or wanted by the majority of workers."

Sex worker charity Umbrella Lane has released a guide for working as lockdown eases but the industry is calling for additional support.

The spokeswoman added: "Some Dominatrices have formed research groups to discuss and share best practice but it is trial and error for all groups left behind.

"The SEISS grant also does not cover the entire period these workers have been out of work and the last grant coming in August at only 70% means more uncertainty to follow.

"The adult industry deserves the same consideration afforded to every other industry sector with grown up discussions to be had.

"We need less pearl clutching and a clear route map back into work with adequate safety advice and a financial safety net that works for the adult industry and all other self-employed workers."

It is understood that some clubs have reopened in other Scottish cities but Glasgow's lap dancing clubs remain closed with uncertainly over when they might reopen.

Andrew Cox, owner of Seventh Heaven, said: "Lap dancing clubs meet all the social distancing requirements being that they are table service only, music volume is always low to allow conversations and the dancers are always distant from customers.

"We do not attract large volumes of customers, typically no more than around 50 customers in at the same time.

"As well as the impact on the performers, there is the probability of job losses for the staff, most of whom are in the 18 to 24 age category identified by the government as at risk of long term unemployment."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “As with the position on nightclubs and music venues, the Scottish Government would not expect sexual entertainment venues to be open at the present time.”