Desperate Irish women turn to working in sex industry as economy tanks
Estimated 1,000 Irish woman work in escort services to pay the bills
Niamh’s clients are, for the most part, professional men who like her to take control. She told the Independent “I see all types of men all across the country. Lawyers, doctors, people you might see on television. One of my clients is on the Sunday Times Rich List but he will open the door to me on his knees in a pair of ladies' underwear. He tells me he is fully under my control."
Another is a garda I've seen a few times, a very kind man who likes to pretend he's a prison warden and I'm the female prisoner. I've been in some really hilarious situations."
Sadly, those who deal with those working in the sex industry who are also dealing with drug addiction, rape, violence and suicide don’t have has lighthearted an attitude.
They are usually trying to fund families. It's particularly noticeable at certain times of year when Communions are coming up or Christmas.
Latham said most women had mental health issues as a result of the lifestyle."I've seldom seen a woman who hasn't got mental health issues. Some will say 'oh it's fine, it's fine', but when they get out of it they tell you the actual horrors of the situation -- the rapes, the beatings, not being allowed to use condoms or attend clinics. Most women are afraid of their lives and want to get the hell out of it."
Dr Paul Ryan, sociology lecturer at NUI Maynooth and a member of the Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland (SWAI) commented on how the type of women, and the personality of women in the sex industry has changed.
He said, “It's not always the case that women are forced into prostitution…Some make a choice to do it. It is something women enter and leave all the time depending on whether they have a First Communion coming up or another financial pressure.
"I did research which showed that some women prefer to do sex work than resort to shoplifting. It is actually a moral choice for them and there is a lot of decision-making based around it. That notion is often brushed under the carpet with the attitude that all prostitution is violent, all prostitutes need to be rescued. . . end of. That's far too simplistic."
Niamh believes that there is a new type of sex worker on the block; one that’s strong minded, opinionated, and a sole agent.
“I've never had any trouble. If you get a late-night call out to somewhere you don't know, you would be a little bit wary, but most of the guys are just ordinary men who are desperately lonely and want a bit of company. Some just want to give you a hug and a kiss and have a cup of tea. The only problem I've had is that sometimes they want to marry you.
"How do I deal with it all emotionally? I just switch off. No matter how ugly or fat or unattractive they might be, once you've done the first one or two, you break down that barrier and become immune to it.
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