Monday, June 20, 2011

Increasing numbers in capital turning to prostitution as career choice

Well here I am sat at home surfing through Google News and up pops the headline "Increasing numbers in capital turning to prostitution as career choice" - oh! I thought, that is worth a click. The article was written by Clare Hutchinson and published in the South Wales Echo today.

Well the editor knows how to make a great headline! Reading the article I never knew there were so many prostitutes working here in Cardiff or the distinction between On-Street and Off-Street sex workers! Do the On-Street sex workers wear shoes and the Off-Street sex workers wear carpet slippers?

The article is a good read and follows on from some good research by Swansea University into 395 Off-Street sex workers in Cardiff. It stops the popular preconception that all sex workers are trapped in a dangerous trade by controlling pimps, financial insecurity and drug and alcohol abuse. Dr Tracey Sagar, a lecturer in criminology and social policy at Swansea University and co-author of the report, said
"These women definitely don’t want to be saved – they have made a choice and we have to respect that choice."

The study found 93.3% of respondents to Dr Sagar’s survey kept their occupation a secret from friends and family. One man in Cardiff was advertising on the internet and seeing two female clients a week – a fact he was hiding from his wife and children.
Another woman told researchers her high sex drive led to a string of one-night stands, so she decided to start charging to get a bit of money on the side and keep herself happy. But she said sex with her partner was “a different thing”.

So, there you have it, prostitution is on the up here in Cardiff. It does not harm anyone, the business is done Off-Street by people who have made a career choice. All this sex takes place between consenting adults and nobody is a victim. It is good to read that people have moved forward and forgotten their preconceptions, to service a trade that has a high demand. I find it very easy to understand the sex workers point-of-view. What I do not understand is the punters' point-of-view - paying a stranger for sex. Having free-sex with a stranger I can understand, the thrill and chance of meeting someone new. But paying for sex like you would pay a builder, I can't imagine. It would seem so embarrassing and a last resort measure, "oh! nobody else would want me, so I will pay a prostitute". Still, the demand must be there, to keep so many sex-workers in business here in Cardiff. You will never find me putting business their way but I fully understand why they have made their career choice and that they are not all drug addicts, scoring for their next hit.
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