An increasing number of students in the United Kingdom are turning to the tough prostitution economy in order to pay down loans and avoid the crippling debts that can come with post-secondary education. They are learning that sex may not sell as well as it used to as the market becomes saturated with students, the unemployed and the prostitutes themselves struggling to pay for rent and groceries.
In fact, many massage parlors and private flats are being shut down in the wake of the apparent employment crisis in the sex trade. Prostitutes are saying that it has become difficult to make money in a market now plugged with many others who are driven to make money in the wake of the economic issues that continue to plague the planet. Sex has apparently become a commodity for which men and women alike are now unable to pay for; considered a luxury, paying for sex is now taking a back seat to simple survival.
Students are now making upwards of £1,000 a week, with some charging anywhere from £40 to £450 an hour for a variety of “jobs”. The English Collective of Prostitutes notes that many of these students are working for themselves or through any one of a number of online agencies. They estimate that the number of calls to their help line has risen by about a third since 2011.
While students appear to be making a success at forays into the sex trade, the fact of the matter is from a financial standpoint is that sex may not sell the way it once did. Students are turning to stints in a tough prostitution economy in order to pay off school loans, but there is still a great number of those in the sex trade who are having to drop prices in order to make ends meet and keep their business alive.
One madam who runs six escorts in the United Kingdom says that people would be shocked at the number of students who are engaging in the sex trade and that the numbers of students entering the trade as a way of survival has tripled in the last few years. Escort Charlotte Fox, who has 200,000 Twitter followers, says that many students turn to the sex trade as a means of making more money in one hour than they could make in eight hours.
Current estimates are that there is 20 percent of the current student population working as lap dancers, and according to the United Kingdom’s National Union of Students, it isn’t just the sex trade that is seeing a sudden influx of workers from student bodies. Students are also becoming involved in medical experiments and gambling as fast ways to make cash in order to pay for their education.
Government reforms have meant that universities in the United Kingdom could charge upwards of £9,000 annually, which means the pinch is truly on students to find a steady source of money in order to fund their education. With some 800 applicants for one job on a high-street bar, many students are considering careers in the sex trade as viable options for making money. In fact, Fox notes that many students are viewing sex-for-hire assignments as paid one-night stands.
As for the prostitutes currently struggling to make ends meet due to rising rent costs and energy bills, they have learned that sex may not sell as well as it used to in a tough prostitution economy. The current influx of the unemployed and students who are turning to prostitution to make their way in the world and to pay off loans means there is an untenable glut in the market that has caused prostitutes to struggle to survive, more so than they have ever done before.
By Christina St-Jean