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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Funny: Lagos State Sex Workers Cry Outy For Costumers

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There was a time when the red-light districts of Lagos like Allen Avenue, Opebi, Ojuelegba and CMS, among others, bustled with human traffic of customers and sex traders who paraded their ‘flesh wares’ under the glare of traffic lights in the night.

Those days, when young women in various stages of undress walked up to any vehicle that pulled over beside them and made seductive gestures to male occupants in a relaxed manner, seem to have passed.
Now, as Saturday PUNCH investigation revealed, a new desperation has descended on the sex traders of Lagos, one with a hungry intent to make quick cash, any amount of cash even, just to survive the hard times, as fewer customers visit the sex hubs.
There is no doubt that the economic crunch in the country has made these young women hungrier. As companies are developing strategies to survive hard times, Lagos prostitutes have re-strategised their operations in order to cope.
In one of the “fact-finding missions” of our correspondents to Allen Avenue, Tania, a young woman, whose youthful but heavily made up face suggested she could be between the ages of 22 and 26, told one of our correspondents, who posed as a prospective customer, that she would prefer an overnight service.
Asked why, as all her negotiations tended towards the fact that she did not like the popular “short-time”, favoured by men who simply want to “get in and get out”, Tania explained the economic sense in her strategy.
“I won’t have to pay for the daily room charge to Sisi Mi (apparently, the sobriquet of her madam). Even if I do short-time and I don’t use the room, we do it beside a wall or on the boot of your car, so far as I go back to the room this night, I will still have to pay,” she said.
Before the dark cloud of economic crisis descended on the sex trade in Lagos, sex workers in the city charged between N10,000 and N20,000 for an overnight service depending on a customer’s bargaining power.
Tania readily agreed to N5,000 but she added the caveat that our correspondent must buy her a plate of food on the way home.
Despite efforts by Tania to mask the desperation showing in her voice, it was clear the young lady did not want to get through the night with an empty pocket in a season when customers are not forthcoming.
Our correspondents learnt that in the days of plenty customers, Lagos sex workers hardly showed patience with any customer, whom they suspected did not have any interest in obtaining their service.
Commercial sex workers are aware that many young men simply derive satisfaction from engaging them, discussing prices, telling them to show enticing body parts, only to walk away from the bargain. These are fools prostitutes do not suffer gladly.
But that night, Tania was unusually patient, another evidence of the desperation in the trade.
When our correspondent later discharged her with an excuse that instantly brought an expression of disappointment on her face, she turned back a moment later as she made to walk away.
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