- Sex workers say its almost impossible to make living from prostitution
- Complain of saturated market full of students, immigrants and out of work
- Massage parlours and private flats have reduced prices or closed
- They blame rising rents and energy costs and reduced demand
By ANTHONY BOND
It is one of the oldest professions in the world. Yet, just like many other businesses up and down the UK, even prostitution is now struggling with Britain’s struggling economy.
Many sex workers are now saying its almost impossible to make a full time living out of prostitution with rising rents and energy costs and a reduced demand for services.
They also complain of a saturated market in which students and those recently sacked turn to prostitution to make money.
Like many other workers across Britain, sex workers even complain that immigrants are providing tough competition.
All of this has resulted in many massage parlours and private flats heavily reducing their prices or even closing.
Prostitutes also say men are increasingly unable to pay for sex, with pressures on household spending increasing.
With the economy suffering after years of poor growth, consumer spending at the end of last year was almost 4 per cent lower than in 2007.
Speaking to The Economist, Vivienne, who works in the south of England as a part time independent escort, said paying for sex is a luxury many can now not afford.
‘Food is more important; the mortgage is more important; petrol is more important.’
Another sex worker, Debbie, who runs a private flat in western England, said she now does two or three ‘jobs’ a day compared to almost nine a year ago.
This reduction in demand has forced her to reduce prices in order to keep her business afloat.
‘If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t still be open.’
The reduction in demand has also affected George McCoy, who has written books on massage parlours and individuals and also runs a review website.
He says his visitor numbers on his website are down by a third.
The English Collective of Prostitutes has also admitted that more people are entering prostitution.
Many sex workers in Westminster have halved their prices because of the strong competition.
Across many other parts of the UK, prostitutes also say they are seeing lots of new people in their ranks, including students and those recently sacked.