Nigerian Sex Workers Explore Social Media

•Sex workers protesting against discrimination

File Photo: Sex workers protesting against discrimination

Eromosele Ebhomele

For many commercial sex workers in Nigeria, the internet has become a blessing as it is increasingly becoming a major avenue for them to meet clients and patrons.

P.M.NEWS findings show that the prostitutes majorly use social media including Twitter, Facebook, Eskimi, Twoo, Tango, Blackberry Messenger and 4clique to advertise themselves to likely patrons either directly or through agents.

While some of these media like Eskimi, Twoo forbid members from uploading and displaying nude photographs, others including Facebook, BBM and Twitter do not really give their members such restrictions apart from emphasising its rule against infringement of privacy.

“Some of these social media afford us the opportunity to display some of our assets to attract guys like you,” one of the girls on Twitter, who later gave her name simply as Bisi, a resident of Egbeda, told our correspondent, who had posed as a client.

“The use of social media is even better because some men are very shy to approach a lady physically. Some are also very scared of going to brothels. But on social media, they are bolder and encouraged to speak their minds because it is just like a blind date where they are not physically with the woman,” the 30-year old Bisi added.

File Photo: Sex workers protesting against discrimination
File Photo: Sex workers protesting against discrimination

She, like many of her colleagues, have adopted a strategy to make it easy for them to meet with a client for sex over an agreed fee.

“What we do now is to come together-maybe three of us-and rent an accommodation where men visit us and have fun. But before then, we would have agreed on a fee.

“We fix the appointment after making sure it would not clash with those of our roommates. We either also give the impression that we are sisters or friends when our customers visit,” she said, adding that in the alternative, they would visit the “customer” at home after his assurances that it is safe to do so “or hang out somewhere else if the customer has enough money for entertainment and getting a room.

“I think it is more economical that the customers visit us, do what they want and pay rather than getting a venue and spending more for short time,” she said asking our correspondent which of the options he wanted.

On Eskimi and Twoo, the ladies are free to give details about themselves, their stature, marital status, number of children where applicable, and what they want from their likely catch.

P.M.NEWS finding showed that while some on these media are genuinely searching for love, others are there to date and flirt as found on some profile messages.

A 32-year old mother of two, who registered her profile as Victoria, told P.M.NEWS in an online chat that her husband left her and the children for another woman.

“Since then, I have been made to cater for the children and their education. He does not care and I can’t just allow the children suffer.

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“You also know that it is difficult to find a man that would marry a woman who has two children when single ladies are even finding it increasingly difficult to get a husband.

“Instead of going about the streets to beg, the best thing is to make myself available to men who can afford it. That could help me take care of myself, the children and my rent,” she confided in P.M.NEWS.

Abuja-based Chidinma, who plies her trade on Twoo said she is not cut out for men lesser that 30 years, stressing that many of them are still children who do not know how the “sex business” operates.

“I can only date you if you are married. I go out with only married men and on exceptional cases, with spoilt children of wealthy men in Abuja,” she said.

She told our correspondent that she lives with two other ladies in a two-bedroom flat and that through the business, she now has a car and has been sponsoring two of her younger brothers through school.

Philomena, a 28-year old woman from Akwa-Ibom, who does ‘business’ majorly on Twitter explained that she had come to Lagos at the age of 15 to serve as a house help. She then graduated into prostitution at age 20, adding that since then, the business has paid off.

“I ran away from my the family I was serving as house help after the woman’s husband continuously tormented me with sex till the day my madam caught us.

“I then joined a group of girls in a brothel in Iyana-Ipaja and after a year, I was not meeting my expectations. So I started joining girls to seek customers around major streets.

“But since someone introduced me to Twitter, things have changed. I have been getting more clients than when I was at the brothel. I now live in a rented apartment, but I select the type of people I bring into my apartment,” she said, adding “I am just giving you details of myself because I like you and I believe you are a serious person.”

P.M.NEWS finding revealed that women are not the only ones who pass through agents. Men are also part of the group.

However, those who seek to be linked up through agents include men in search of sugar mummies, adult women in search of younger men for sexual relationships and men in need of young ladies.

These agents demand particular amounts for the different services.

For example, to register for a sugar mummy on Mature And Rich Sugar Moms And Dads Hookups, one is expected to pay the sum of N3,000 while belonging to the BBM group costs just N500 through recharge cards.

While defending this business strategy, one of those who told P.M.NEWS that he had patronised some of the women through social media, said it was more economical and “it brings the two of you close even before you finally meet each other and it affords you the opportunity to know more about the kind of woman you want at that particular period.”

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