Some people turn to selling sex for the money and do the job without ever enjoying it. Others have mixed motives, including enjoying the thrill of being wined and dined. It’s more than understandable, given contemporary ideas that youth is the prettiest and best time of life, that young people should want to take part sooner rather than later. Most of the student stories I’ve read, including in academic research, focus on the rising cost of studies and the difficulty of getting any job that pays well. Here are excerpts from two women’s comments on their own experiences: one loved the job and the other didn’t. See original story for background.
Prostitution as a student job
Sara De Sloover, Europe & Me Magazine, No 6
Sophie (22) is a drama student living in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. Since last April, she has also been working as an escort girl. ‘I had been travelling, and had spent way too much money. Because I’m a student, I couldn’t take a full-time job, but I needed money urgently. Working as an escort was something I’d already been thinking about . . . So I wrote the agency an email, and they immediately invited me round for a talk. I didn’t know what to expect, I was very nervous. They let me think about it for a few days. . . . When you’re new, you’re very popular. Those first weeks I had two or three bookings a week. Now I toned it down a bit, as my term-time has just started again. Every Sunday, I email the agency with my availability.
. . . Somebody who knows my family apparently discovered [photos] and sent them to my mother anonymously. . . . She couldn’t believe it. At first, I denied everything. But eventually I . . . told her the truth. She said she wasn’t proud of me, and I felt bad. . . .But I think I have reassured her pretty well. Now, we share the secret. . .
It’s not only about the money. Of course, it’s great that I don’t have any financial worries anymore. My credit card debt has disappeared, I went on holiday, I paid for some courses. And now I am saving money, I want to have ten thousand euro on my savings account by next summer. But the main reason for me to be in this business is the suspense. I just think it’s so exciting. I love to have a lot of attention when I go out as well. It’s the thrill of sneaking out of my student home late in the evening in a beautiful dress. . . .
Laura D . . . caused a minor scandal in her homeland last year when her novel ‘Mes chères études’ came out (which means ‘my dear studies’ as well as ‘my expensive studies’). In the book, Laura (not her real name) confesses to readers that she worked as a part-time prostitute for a year . . . to pay for her course in Spanish and Italian, the rent and food. . . . “When the book came out in France”, Laura told the British newspaper 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.” Laura wasn’t entitled to a student grant or long-term loans, and the part-time job she landed just didn’t bring in enough money. Her parents couldn’t afford to help her. Bills mounted, and Laura was losing weight rapidly. That’s why she reacted to an ‘adults only’ ad. Prostitution is a fast and efficient source of income, although Laura hated everything about it. . . .
Other (former) student-prostitutes are coming out, such as German Alexandra Aden, who wrote “Und nach der Vorlesung ins Bordell. Bekenntnisse einer deutschen Kunststudentin” (After lectures to the brothel. Confessions of a German art student). Aden worked as a prostitute in Hannover for six years and got to know lots of other female students who were doing the same. And a third student, Italian-born Sonia Rossi, wrote Fucking Berlin, a book about her time as a hooker in Berlin. . .