If times were tough—I mean, really tough—would you sell your body for money? In her Salon column “Pinched,” Tracy Clark-Flory reports that more women are entering the sex industry due the recession, including Marie, a 30-year-old former white-collar professional with a degree, who now operates out of hotel room and has “been paid more times than she can count, or cares to count," for acts ranging from sensual massage to sex itself.
We already knew that sex still sells during a recession—sex toy sales are up, lingerie sales are booming, and sex workers—from prostitutes to strippers—aren’t being as adversely effected by the economic downturn as other businesses. But otherwise professional women who never considered a career in sex work suddenly taking it all off to make ends meet? Is this really a trend?
The difference in these dark days is that middle-class advantages, like a solid college education and professional work experience, don’t offer the same level of protection that they once did from being pushed to make such a choice. Not to mention, it’s easier now to make the decision because the Internet has bulldozed the barrier of entry into the sex industry. Just a few clicks away from Craigslist’s job board is an array of immediate, cash-upfront adult gigs.
In other words, things like Craigslist’s Erotic Services section and online porn have made it easier and supposedly safer for the average person to get into sex work, without having to troll the streets in the middle of the night or work under the employ of a pimp.
With that in mind, if you were in extremely dire straits and could not find a job that paid the bills, would you consider becoming your own boss and selling your body to make ends meet?