Living With a Student Prostitute

I previously carried out a survey at the Birmingham City University campus that revealed 23 students out of 100 knew a student sex worker. One of the students who took part in this survey and was willing to talk anonymously about her personal experiences living in Halls with a student escort.

What was it like living with a student sex worker?

I was very uncomfortable with it, and often would talk to her about giving it up. She would always come to my room and tell me if she was going out on a job and tell an approx time she would be home.

Did you or any one else ever discuss with her the option to stop?

I did ask her to stop and I believe her friends from home that knew did ask her to stop too. Her family didn’t know anything.  This was very uncomfortable for me, I wanted to help her but I had to support myself financially and couldn’t afford to support her too.

What were her reasons for having to work in the sex industry?

She said she had no other options due to problems with her family and money, she commented that she had attempted to get a regular job but had failed.

Did any problems arise from living with someone in that nature of work?

No immediate problems, however she did come in and out of the flat at early hours in the morning and would often stink our communal area out by smoking weed.

What were her reasons for resorting to prostitution? 

She had no money, and would often have no food to eat. Some of her family members would ask to borrow money from her and she often had unpaid bills. She would often buy drugs and she said she had no other options for a job as escorting gave her large sums of money immediately.

Did she ever express how the act of prostitution made her feel?

She commented that she would feel emotionless and numb during the actual intercourse and would feel dirty when she returned home. She would always shower afterwards.

Was she open about her profession?

It was only me and a few of her close friends that knew about it, however when intoxicated she was quite open with the subject.

Did you ever think of student prostitution as commonplace before this experience? Has this opinion changed?

It is something that you hear about or read in magazines but never thought I would encounter the situation personally. Even after the experience I’d say that prostitution wasn’t commonplace for students.

Have your opinions on sex work in regards to student living and otherwise changed since this experience?

I have never had a positive opinion of the sex work industry and this has only reconfirmed my opinions of it. It is something I would never resort to. I feel that if you were in that much of a financial struggle you should talk to your parents or go to the student union advice centre and get some financial advice. As a second year student, I haven’t struggled with getting a regular job at all and although the money isn’t instant is much better than degrading yourself to prostitution.

By Daniella Dixon-Cannon

Student Sex Workers Come Forward as the Issue Rises

Taking us back over a year ago, I want to draw our attention to the Student Solidarity Trust Report (SST). This report was in regards to a study carried out by Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa and Dr Charity Manyeruke.

The study looked into the lives of female students at the University of Zimbabwe which concluded that students had to resort to prostitution due to desperation.

They were exploited by gardeners who promised them cheaper or free accommodation if they solicited sex, put into a position where they had no means of attending classes unless they made these choices.

It would appear that students having no other option but to resort to sex work is an predicament vacant from western society. Or is it?

According to The National Student’s Union, a growing number of students are turning to prostitution in the UK. The Daily Echo reports that students in Southampton are turning to “sugar daddy” websites to fund their education.

Websites like SeekingArrangement offer young women the opportunity to get paid thousands of pounds to go on dates with rich, older men or “sugar daddies”. The website reports that 35% of its UK members are now students.

Graduate and former “sugar baby” says, speaking to The Daily Echo, “I was extremely reluctant” but made the decision to join SeekingArrangment because she “had no chance of paying any of the debt back in the short term while I tried to forge a stable career for myself.”

We were boyfriend and girlfriend but I was paid £2,500 a month, which was more than enough to cover my bills while I pursued my career in film.

Is this the kind of decision you’re forced to make, are they being exploited like the women in Zimbabwe? UK organisaton, Women’s Support Project thinks so,

We should be concerned about the potential for abuse and exploitation which comes with this combination of money and economic vulnerability.”

According to Wales Online, recent research shows that the number of students in Wales turning to the sex industry for money is also growing.

Dr Teele Sanders and Rosie Campbell carried out the research report when the Cardiff City Council were urged to examine the conditions that students may have been working at, such as adult entertainment clubs.

The report found that over a third of dancers were students. According to the Prostitutes Collective, the number of calls made by students had significantly increased and they’re blaming rising tuition fees and the Cardiff City Council research complies with this.

An academic project due to start next month, will survey students who have turned to the sex industry as a means of paying tuition fees and living costs. In light of this, Madame Becky Adams has come forward to Wales Online.

Adams ran brothels for two decades, and say that a site for first-time escorts owned by a friend has seen interest soar. Its not only students who they’ve seen resorting to sex work, but women from all walks of life.

Dr Tracey Sagar and her colleague Debbie Jones from the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice at Swanswea University has also been carrying out long-term research into the field.

Their research seems to corroborate the current trend amongst students, as is showed that there is an increasing amount of men and women in Cardiff turning to prostitution as a career choice.

By Daniella Dixon-Cannon

Significant Percentage of students Know a Student Sex Worker

New statistics suggest that student prostitution may be more of an issue than we thought. An on-campus tally at Birmingham City University was carried out in order to get a clearer sense of the reality of student prostitution. We asked 100 students whether they know a student sex worker and 23 students said that they did.

This is surprising when you consider the lack of awareness that is shown by Students at The Student Room (http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1977382&p=37249533), which members such as snag prophet claim “its nonsense”. For Kicks concurs, “Like anything in the press blown out of proportion… hardly a student phenomenon.”

The only recognition of students being forced to such means, is explained by the demands of a materialistic lifestyle, ebam_UK says it’s resorted to in order “to gain disposable income or pay for that exotic holiday… anything for a Cambridge ball ticket”.

When talking to some of the students who took part in the on-campus tally, they had a very different opinion on things. Fashion student Olivia Cameron said,

I would never turn to prostitution, but students struggle financially a lot more than people seem to think. After I’ve used my loan to pay my rent I’m left with nothing to live on, and if my parents couldn’t help me I wouldn’t know what to do. It’s hard to find a job, and I know a lot of students who aren’t supported by their parents.

English and Drama student Katie Hodson seems bitter towards the Government’s student loans system,

I’m stuck in a job with crap pay, no help from my parents, and left with less than £5 a week to spend on food if I want to have ANY enjoyment outside of work and university.”

By Daniella Dixon-Cannon

Film and Literature Community’s Response to Student Prostitution

The subject of student prostitution has appeared to have caused quite a stir in the arts community. Elles a French film about student prostitution was released 3 days ago.

It is the creation of feminist film director, Malgorzata Szumowska who attempts to stamp out western attitudes to prostitution, and instead of constructing repressed women forced into sex work, Szumowska tells us that sex is a commodity, bought and sold in ways that go beyond traditional prostitution.

Instead it is the suburban housewife who is trapped, trapped in a marriage where sex is sold for her domesticity, and the student prostitutes are the ones who are ultimately freed by their unashamed sexual liberty.

However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a response in the arts community to student sex workers, particular in french culture. Emmanuel Bercot is another french director who is responsible for the film, “Mes Cheres Etudes” or the English title, “Student Services“.

Director Emmanuel Bercot based the film on an autobiographical book of the same title, by anonymous author Laura D. Mes Cheres Etudes or My Dear Studies caused a minor scandal in the writers homeland, by claiming that she had to prostitute herself in order to fund her studies in Spanish and Italian.

Last year at the time of the books release Laura D told The Times, “a lot of people said that it was my choice – but at the time it didn’t feel like a choice. It felt like an obligation”.

The stress of having to pay for tuition fees, food, rent and bills without a student loan or grant and a low paying part time job is what lead to Laura to responding to an “adults only” ad. in the local newspaper.

Since the release of Laura D’s “Mes Cheres Etudes” other student sex workers have come forward and written about their experiences. Alexandra Aden wrote “Und nach der Vorlesung ins Bordell. Bekenntnisse einer deutschen Kunststudentin” (After lectures to the brothel. Confessions of a German art student).

Und nach der Vorlesung ins Bordell: Bekenntnisse einer Kunststudentin

The book is about Aden’s experiences working as a prostitute for 6 years, and the other students she got to know who also shared her profession.

Another German Author Sonia Rossie released the autobiographic book, “Fucking Berlin an audacious account of her voluntary and “fun” experiences as a webcam girl and student sex worker.

By Daniella Dixon-Cannon

Picture By: Amazon.com, inc.

Top 5 Virtual Student Hangouts

Top 5 Virtual Student Hangouts

1. The Student Room (TSR) (http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk) – A highly established website made for university and school students in UK, which consists of almost 600,000 users and 35 million posts. Not only does The Student Room consist of a flourishing, active forum but it also contains its own wiki. The TSR wiki is a database thriving with a breadth of information on the subject of student life, with everything from finances to night life.

2. Student 365 (http://student365.co.uk) – Student 365 is run in association with the UK’s leading student magazine Fresh Direction which is in partnership with STA travel. This student run, student led unity is full of advice specific blogs, money saving tools and entertainment news that is sure to satisfy your every need.

3. Student of Fortune (http://www.studentoffortune.com) – This virtual hangout offers its members “smart homework help”, at a price. Members can learn from and teach one another by answering each others questions and following each others tutorials, all in regard to your studies. The website provides an extensive and impressive database of knowledge, which has lead to Student of Fortune being featured on abc news.

4. The Student Center  (http://www.student.com) – The Student Center consists of over 960,000 members, welcoming students of all ages. They come together to use The Student Center’s resources exploring the likes of scholarships, grants, and coming to the right decision when it comes to deciding whether to continue your studies. All of this can then also be picked apart on The Student Center’s social network consisting of forums, blogs, and chat rooms.

5. Students Forum  (http://www.studentsforum.co.uk) – The motives of Students Forum is as simple as its name, merely a place for students to socialise and converse about the things that may or may not concern their particular lifestyle. Not only is the forum booming with threads about student life, but you can also participate in the expressive community of blogging.

By Daniella Dixon Cannon

Student’s Indifferent to Concerns over Prostitution to Pay Fees

In view of the UK’s recent tuition fee raise, there has been growing concern for the increase of students turning to the sex trade for financial aid.

Medical students in particular have been highlighted as more likely to resort to such measures, as they study for longer then most other students and acquire more debt.

Such indications have led universities to take action, Swansea University for example have recently received funding to investigate just how significant the number of student sex workers actually are after the National Union of Students (NUS) voiced there worries.

Although the idea of students turning to the sex trade to support their studies sounds like a desperate measure, students at The Student Room forums appear to view it as a trivial matter.Several users agree with ‘Stealth-mode‘ who contends,

Whats the big problem? As long as the girl/guy selling sex is safe and comfortable with the sex-work, why should it matter? I would have a problem if the individual was being exploited, but the vast majority of students who go down this line won’t be.

The general consensus does on the other hand seem to view students who turn to the sex trade to fund their education as “looking for the easiest and quickest fix to their money ‘problems’” states ‘Zerforax‘.

But the stigma attached to sex work like prostitution in general is challenged, with students berating society’s judgmental attitude and proposing the legalisation of prostitution could mediate this and the possibility of exploitation.

By Daniella Dixon-Cannon

Picture by The Student Room