Confessions of french and english students who sell sex to live and learn

One of the e-papers I love to read is the British Times. The main reason that I look for this paper almost every day is so I can read Jeremy Clarkson's reviews which originally were about cars and during those days only the four wheels, sometimes the two wheels were the things that bothered him, in the good and in the bad, so they had to go thru his hard criticism but nowadays anything that moves or doesn’t tend to end up under his sharp wit and cut down to pieces and becomes just dust in the wind.
Yesterday as I was reading one of his article about the new Mazda MX5 (His final conclusion is that it's still a bacon sandwich made with good bread, good butter and good pork but now it has a splash of HP sauce)I came across two interesting articles and as I was reading them I kept telling myself how lucky the Maltese students are compared to most students in the European countries especially the Maltese students over sixteen years old who not only do they all get free tuition but are even given a stipend to help them thru out there studies. The two articles were about young students turning to prostitution to have enough money to pay tuition fees, the rent and have enough money to feed themselves during their studies . The first one is a study done by Dr Ron Roberts, who is a health psychologist at Kingston University in southwest London. In his study he found out that the new figures of students turning to prostitution represent a 50% increase in the prevalence rates for student prostitution since 2000, given the increasing financial problems experienced by students, in the last 6 years.
One of the surveys asked 130 students whether they knew any friends involved in the sex industry, one in 10 said they knew of students who had stripped, lap-danced or worked at massage parlours and escort agencies to support themselves. Just over 6% said they knew students who worked as prostitutes.
The study found that alcohol led some women into stripping and lap-dancing, but those resorting to prostitution were simply working to earn money.
University tuition fees in UK which were first introduced in 1998 at £1,000 a year have risen to £3,000 this The researchers talked to students in different age and social groups and cross-checked descriptions to avoid double-counting sex workers who might be known by more than one respondent.
Last week one London escort said she had been working in the industry since 1999 to support herself through a master’s degree and now a doctorate in international politics. She said that they use to go to the agency with text books and laptops, and all the girls studied at night and then would take breaks to go out with the guys.
Sophie said she could sometimes earn £2,000 for a full night’s work in 1999, but now competition from eastern European prostitutes had driven earnings down, while tuition fees had gone up.
Students like Sophie are finding it easier to work in this industry, instead of working in McDonald’s, or shops for £8 an hour, since one can still have time to do the reading and make more money quickly, to pay the rent.
Internet adverts for escort agencies and massage parlours boast of having “college girls” on their books. Clients are willing to pay up to £350 an hour, because they don’t want a bimbo but they want a conversation as well as sex.
Sam Heuston, 24, a contestant last year on the British version of the Big Brother, said she earned £80 a night stripping and lap-dancing at clubs when she was studying marketing at Oxford Brookes University.
The second article is about a book called Mes Chères Études (My Dear Studies), written by a 19 years old student by the name of Laura D who is in her second year of university who managed to raise an eye one of the ugliest phenomenon hitting France as other major european countries which is student prostitution. The young girl who attends a Paris university has drawn national attention with a book about a first year in which she paid impossible bills by selling her body to men. Thanks to the internet, many students especially women are being tempted into occasional paid sex to cope with living costs that can no longer be met with part-time jobs.

She describes the trap into which she fell soon after starting university at an unidentified city in 2006. Even if most parisienne think that tales of students selling sex en masse is just a figment of media imagination but there is a large number of girls who do not talk about it, even with their friends. It’s something which is hard to talk about, so it stays secret and taboo. It’s incredibly easy to get sucked in because there are a lot of students who can’t make ends meet in fact police estimate that up to 20,000 sell their favors. Despite working 15 hours a week in telephone sales, Laura said that she went hungry. Her workman father and nurse mother, who live in a council house in the same city, could not afford to help her. Their minimum wage incomes barred her from very basic student aid, like tens of thousands of others.
In her book, Laura says: “Not a bean, unpaid bills and rent to pay. Never a penny in my pocket and forced to cheat on public transport. It was a generally unbearable life,” A click on the internet revealed a wealth of demand for escorts and masseuses. She decided to answer an advert saying: “Young man of 50 seeks occasional masseuse. Students welcome.”
“I said to myself that ‘massages’ would easily give me the luxury of choosing what I would do. I did not realise that it was exactly the opposite: I would never have the choice again. From the moment you reply to an advert, you have been dragged in.”
At her first session, in a hotel room, “Joe”, her track-suited, fiftysomething client, paid €250, simply to watch her. When she fled to Paris last April, she was making €400 a time but she resolved to give up. “I couldn’t sleep. I turned in my bed with images of horror passing before my eyes.”
Now working in a Paris restaurant, Laura is determined to stick to her decision. She realizes that she has been damaged: “It is difficult now with boys. I hope never to go back to it. It is very violent. It’s a money relationship and there is financial domination. It is very difficult to rebuild oneself afterwards.”
Average Prices

€ 1508-Yearly education costs of average student
€ 4682-Student’s estimated annual living costs
€ 7-Price of a pint of beer in Paris
€6.50-Price of a McDonald’s Big Mac burger

£2,019-Yearly education costs
£5,333-Annual living costs
£2.60-Price of a pint of beer in London
£1.94- Price of a McDonald’s Big Mac burger

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