The sex industry is something everyone is aware of but hardly any one speaks of their experiences with it. With many students struggling to juggle their social life with the financial restrictions of their maintenance loan, the sex industry is a way that students can earn a little extra on the side.
The sugar daddy industry is bigger than it appears. Twitter accounts pledge to send you large amounts of cash just for following them and retweeting their content. Many girls have their tinder settings with a wide age range in order to match older, financial stable men. This unique type of dating has a large number of sites dedicated to it, Seeking Arrangement appears to be the largest with over 10 million clients. Seeking Arrangement have said the age of their average sugar daddy is 38, with the sugar babies averaging 25 and making £2,140 a month. One thing to be clear on is that sugar babies are not paid for their services, they are given gifts, and that being a sugar baby doesn’t necessarily mean sex work. These distinctions separate the sugar daddy industry from prostitution.
The law surrounding prostitution is complex. There are over 70,000 prostitutes in the UK, with many more women using the term escort instead. Although the act of prostitution is not a crime, soliciting is. Therefore, offering your services, or even offering the services of someone else is considered illegal. The expansion of the sex industry from escorting to cam girl work this modern era has created blurred lines for the legality of these acts.
Sex work in Eastern Europe is often associated with exploitation, such as sex trafficking. However, the Cam girl industry is different – Bucharest, Romania is known as the Camgirl capital of the world, it could almost be described as the red-light district for webcamming. The Cam girl work there is considered to be controversial because of their high earnings and provocative work. There is a lot of stigma surrounding sex work particularly in Romania’s conservative society. This being said, the Cam girl industry is becoming increasingly professional, using studios and investing a lot of time and money in order to build an inviting and alluring site. One of the important elements within Camgirling is that the girls build a friendship with their clients in order to secure their returning custom. Cam girl work ranges from quite pornographic, using sex toys and featuring full frontal nudity, whilst others are more conservative and focus on building relationships without sexual gratification.
Strip clubs are another element of the sex industry that is not immune to students. There are 576 listed strip clubs in England, the most per person being in the royal county of Berkshire – home to Windsor Castle. A recent YouGov survey showed that most people are open to their partners potentially visiting a strip club, particularly if it was part of a stag or hen party. But since many students aren’t quite at this stage of their lives yet, our partying lifestyles can be seen to have similarities to these types of parties. Many students have said that in the aftermath of a night out they find that they have gone with a group to a strip club for a laugh. This indicates that many students go for the experience and to say that they have been, not for any sexual gratification.
Onlyfans.com is a platform that is gaining a lot of traction and seems to be replacing cam girl work. It enables users to pay for subscriptions to accounts that unlock pornographic images and videos. The app disables your phone’s screen shot function, preventing content from being shared. Many share their onlyfans.com information on their social media, asking people to subscribe and appears to be very popular amongst students, both subscribing but also creating their own accounts and providing content for others to see.
The sex industry is evolving, and students are becoming increasingly active in providing material and being involved in the sex industry but are also quite active the consumption of the sex industry too.