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Irish women, from respectable backgrounds, are turning to prostitution to pay the bills during the recession Photo by: accommodationforstudents.com

Desperate Irish women turn to working in sex industry as economy tanks

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Irish women, from respectable backgrounds, are turning to prostitution to pay the bills during the recession Photo by: accommodationforstudents.com

"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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"But sometimes, like last night, I feel guilty. I went to see a guy I know quite well. He usually comes to me but this time he asked me to go to his house because his wife was away. He lives in a fabulous mansion on the east coast. They've been married for more than 20 years and have three children but the sex has gone down to about once a month and even then it isn't great.

"He wanted me to come dressed as a nurse, which I did, but when I went into the house and there were children's toys scattered around and photographs of the wife and kids on the wall, I felt terrible to be honest.

"I thought to myself 'what if it was me and my husband was paying to sleep with other women? How would I feel?' But at the end of the day, men have their needs and I am just providing them. It's all a big act, and each one is nothing more than a business transaction."

Recent figures reveal that every day at least 1,000 women are selling sex in Ireland.
 

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