The women turning to sex work to make ends meet | Financial Times

The former civil servant climbed into the car next to her husband, who dropped her off near a plush hotel in Cardiff. She slipped into the hotel bar, weaving through the hum of conversation and piano music, and spotted the man she had been messaging. He too appeared nervous.

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She left the hotel later that evening feeling relieved. “I felt proud that I’m able to sort us out . . . and keep a roof over our heads,” she says. “I’m doing this for my family, my house, and my husband.” Tiffany is one of a wave of women who, driven in part by the darkening UK economic outlook, are starting or returning to sex work this year, a finding drawn out of Financial Times interviews with 23 sex workers, as well as 14 charities and advocacy groups in cities including Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leicester, Wolverhampton and London.

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“They’ve been trying to drop the price, but I don’t mind because they’re struggling as much as I am,” she says of her long-term clients, whom she considers “friends with benefits”. In Sheffield, the women say the going rate per client is as little as £10-£15, down from £20-£30 before the pandemic.

The women turning to sex work to make ends meet | Financial Times