I take the view that we know little about the sex industry. Most of what we hear is polemical, rhetorical or simply abstract. The laws that governments of all kinds debate and impose nowadays are mostly lame: primitive prohibitions with little chance of success. Until we know a lot more about what’s going on, it will be impossible to make laws or regulations that actually function fairly. In the case of Pakistan’s sex industry, information is so scarce that I am posting excerpts from an article whose sources appear to be anecdotal: blogs and youtube, but the information is suggestive. The author’s disapproval and moral bias come through too clearly for my taste in the original; if you want to hear it all, go to the source. If you’re interested in more about the cultural study of commercial sex, read the original conception and then what came later. Note: 1000 Pakistan rupees = 8.28 euros.
William Sparrow, 17 May 2008, Asian Times Online
. . . quickly after his arrival in the capital, he realized the house next to his own was a Chinese brothel.
. . . The local sex industry comprised of Pakistani prostitutes has also grown in recent years. . . . videos show unabashed red-light areas of Lahore. . . house after house with colorfully lit entranceways always with a mamasan and at least one Pakistani woman in traditional dress. The women are available for in-house services for as little as 400 rupees (US$6) to take-away prices ranging 1,000 to 2,000 rupees. These districts are mostly for locals, but foreigners can indulge at higher prices.
. . . More upscale areas like Lahore’s Heera Mundi or “Diamond Market”, cater to well-heeled locals and foreigners. At these places prettier, younger girls push their services for 5,000 to 10,000 rupees for an all-night visit, and the most exceptional can command 20,000 to 40,000 rupees for just short time.
. . . “The Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi sex scenes are totally changing and it’s easier and easier to get a girl for [sex],” another blogger wrote. “Most of the hotels provide you the girls upon request.” Bloggers also reported that it is easy to find girls prowling the streets after 6 pm, and foreigners can find young women hanging out near Western franchises like McDonald’s and KFC. Such women, the bloggers claim, can lead the customer to a nearby short-time accommodation.
. . . Pakistan can also accommodate the gay community with prostitution. . . A Pakistani blogger wrote, “. . . [In Pakistan] the wives are only [had sex with] once or twice a year. There are lot of gay brothels in Peshawar – the famous among them is at Ramdas Bazaar. [One can] go to any Afghan restaurant and find young waiters selling sex.”
– Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist