It isn’t a secret that the economy is in a bleak state and most people struggle to get by from day to day. This is why many young women (or even, girls) are turning to sex work for a high price.
With the increase of tuition fees in the UK, a sense of normalisation surrounding debt, and the disarray of the job market, it is not surprising that young people are earning less than ever and have more debt before even beginning work. However, some choose to “improve” their financial status by selling not only their sex, but their virginity for a wealthy sum.
A website called ‘Cinderella Escorts’ has often been caught up in the headlines for being the service allowing girls aged just 18 to sell their virginity to men as far as Abu Dhabi for nearly $2 million. These young girls say that it is their own choice, they aren’t being forced into it and it is a right to make their own choices. And while sex work is not illegal in England and Wales, there are laws which criminalise certain activities involved.
Shocking as it may be, some of those selling themselves see it as empowering to have the choice to sell their own virginity to someone they don’t love…are you still with me?
While the company is run by a German man in his mid-twenties from his own home, the company makes its sales by selling these young girls, taking an advance payment as a deposit and then paying the rest to the girl at the time of the rendez-vous. The company arranges the meeting between both parties and supposedly provides security for the girl – how romantic.
It is difficult to understand the lengths that some people go to in order to just get by. While some see sex work as a necessity to pay for the rising costs of just about everything, others see it as a choice. Sex work has been and always will be frowned upon, for obvious reasons. So the fact that so many young women are turning to the sex industry at such an early stage in their life is a tragic reflection of how helpless so many young people feel.
Rather than criticising these young women, should we not be criticising the online sites that enable random men from the Middle East to buy a young girl’s virginity, and the men buying it?