Student sex workers: ‘It’s not only about the money. I love to have a lot of attention’

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. . .

7 thoughts on “Student sex workers: ‘It’s not only about the money. I love to have a lot of attention’

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Students | Prostitutes | Europe | Escorts | Money | Border Thinking on Migration, Trafficking and Commercial [] on

  2. Kris

    I noticed too how prostitutes can have so many different ideas about clients! When one says she likes contact with clients and that clients treat her with respect others indicate that they are treated like (“come here bitch”, “give me a blowjob bitch”) garbage and that clients seem to enjoy their misery. They are probably talking about the same men.

    I vexes me to this day.

    BTW: isn’t the first page just an advertisement for Women of the World escort? They must have a lot of INTERNATIONAL recruits this way! Zoë Valet (Society Servie) has explained that she gains a lot of new recruits for her escort agency everytime she is on television or in a Lady’s magazine (that is a couple of times a year).

  3. Nancy Deville

    There is no such this as anonymity today. If a young woman chooses prostitution she will never outlive the stigma. It might seem cool now—and like the girl who said that she and her mother shared her secret—it might seem as if it’s possible to lead a double life. But there is no such thing as a secret with the Internet and the globalization of everyone’s private matters.

    Eventually these voluntary prostitutes will have both emotional scars and societal judgments. In my circle of friends, which is pretty wide, I can’t think of one successful man who would marry a former prostitute.

    That said, I did a lot of research and thinking about the plight of prostitutes for my novel Karma. Even though Karma is about forced prostitution (sex trafficking), the stigma of being a prostitute is the same for both those who are forced and those who volunteer. Prostitution denotes the lowest rung of societal vermin.

    Self blame and low self esteem are endemic to all who are forced into prostitution. Self-blame is one of the hallmark manifestations of post traumatic stress disorder, which all trafficked women suffer from. By delving into the true meaning of karma, the main character of my novel comes to understand that karma isn’t cause and effect like we think in the West. When something bad happens to you it affords an opportunity to contribute to the good karma of the world with your actions to make the world a better place. My character’s epiphany represents what I would like to see happen for all rescued victims of sex trafficking: the self compassion to accept that what happened to them not their fault that they are victims and valuable human beings who deserves happiness.

    For those who voluntarily sell their most precious possession, their bodies, I also wish for self-forgiveness and self-compassion.

    Instead of selling your body, try taking out a student loan, then working on developing a mission for your life.

    Nancy Deville

  4. Cheryl Overs

    How ridiculous to suggest that some sex workers don’t recognise abusive behaviour or even enjoy it. What are those who said they like contact with clients – morons ? subhuman ? insane ? Where does it fit into your analysis that sex workers marched against violence in dozens of cities a couple of days ago ?

    BTW : I hope the article functions as an ad for recruitment. The more information about possible paces to work the better for sex workers.

    If you want to reduce your vexation level listen to sex workers . If you want to reduce ours, be quiet.

  5. Kris

    Hi Cheryl, thanks for responding, that would make an interesting dialogue.

    Perhaps there is an explanation to this problem. Perhaps that prostitutes have good clients and bad clients. Some prostitutes forget the good clients and only think about the bad clients, and others remember the good clients and don’t bother about the bad clients. Glass half full, glass half empty.

    Perhaps another explanation is the way how prostitutes treat the clients. Perhaps that some prostitutes draw clear boundaries and make it more clear to the clients what is allowed and what is not allowed. Perhaps that other prostitutes don’t draw these boundaries and that clients just try how far they can go, for instance, suddenly thrusting fingers in bodily orifices or calling names.

    Perhaps that other prostitutes only have a limited clientele where they can filter out the bad guys.

    But I’m only speculating. I think that the first explanation is the best. But I feel that these women must be hard as rock if they can go through so much degradation. Really pitiful.

    We live in a bad world.

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