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Thread: From Bangkok to Berlin, Hard Times Hit the Sex Trade

  1. #1

    From Bangkok to Berlin, Hard Times Hit the Sex Trade

    http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...0.html?cnn=yes

    From Bangkok to Berlin, Hard Times Hit the Sex Trade
    By William Lee Adams

    In Patpong, one of Bangkok's most notorious red-light districts, go-go girls count their livelihood by the number of sex tourists they entertain. "Three inches, three minutes, 3,000 baht ($87)," laughs Goy, a 25-year-old bargirl. Last summer, she and her fellow pole dancers at the Camelot Castle entertained scores of men every night — first in the bar, where they earn a monthly salary, then at the customer's hotel, where they negotiate their own rates. But as cash-strapped tourists have turned their backs on Thailand — tourism officials say revenues will plunge 35% this year — the ranks of men cruising Patpong have thinned dramatically. On a recent Wednesday evening, just three tourists watched a visibly disgruntled Goy wiggle around her pole. "My base salary was 8,000 baht ($232) a month, but now they are giving me 6,000 baht ($174)," she says. "I haven't had a customer in five nights, and I'm lucky if someone buys me a drink."

    As the recession continues to bite, sex workers from Bangkok to Berlin share Goy's frustration. "People just don't spend that freely anymore," says Anke Christiansen, co-founder of Hamburg's Geizhaus ("Das Original Discount Bordell"), where visitor numbers have dropped up to 20% since the crisis began. "Customers who used to come to us two or three times a week now limit themselves to once a week." That newfound restraint has already forced some brothels to shut their doors. In the Czech Republic, where 14% of men admit to having slept with a prostitute, up to half of all sex establishments outside of Prague have closed in the past year, says Hana Malinova, director of Bliss Without Risk, a prostitution-outreach group in the capital. Others have simply reduced their workforce. "In villages where there used to be 10 girls, there are now two," she says. America's working girls have suffered too. The Mustang Ranch in Reno, Nev., recently laid off 30% of its staff after its highest-spending clients started staying away. (See 10 things to do in Las Vegas.)

    The world's oldest profession isn't about to take the recession lying down. Brothels and bathhouses have launched promotions — including free shuttle buses, senior-citizen discounts and day passes — in a bid to arouse interest among wary spenders. "You have to offer better service these days and special packages," says Karin Ahrens, manager at Yes Sir! in Hanover, Germany, where revenues have fallen 30% since the recession hit the nation. As part of a new deal, customers there pay $111 to have as much sex as they want (or can) for one hour. At Geizhaus, recent promotions allowed guests to have sex for free on Halloween and Easter if they wore a costume or brought in a decorated egg. And Berlin's Pussy Club charges guests a $98 flat rate for six hours of unlimited sex, access to a sauna and solarium and an all-you-can-eat buffet. (See pictures of Berlin.)

    Not everyone needs a gimmick to stimulate business. In the Netherlands, Jan Bik says the recession hasn't affected his nine brothels because they target the "common man"; clients pay as little as $42 for half an hour with a woman. And while many of his former customers have left, "people who would normally go to the expensive clubs are visiting us now, so it's evened out." Elsewhere, currency shifts have actually created opportunities for the sex trade. Ukraine's currency, the hryvnia, has lost about 40% of its value against the dollar and euro since the start of the crisis, a change that will further boost the country's growing tourism sector and thereby the number of visitors willing to pay for a thrill. "The country is becoming a paradise for sex tourism before our eyes," says Yuri Lutsenko, Ukraine's Interior Minister. Police experts forecast that the industry will more than double its revenues this year, generating $1.5 billion. And, says Anna Hutsol, head of a nongovernmental women's rights group called FEMEN, deepening unemployment will likely increase the exploitation of vulnerable women: "There are girls without jobs and foreigners with money who want prostitutes."

    Back in Bangkok, the relative strength of foreign currencies isn't helping local businesses. The cost of traveling to Thailand from far-flung places like Australia and Japan offsets any gains from the exchange rate. Pong, the female manager of Bangkok's Babylon Sauna, Bed and Breakfast, knows that all too well, as her business depends on foreign revenue to stay afloat. Described as "the most stylish and lavish sauna ever seen" by online gay guide Pink Banana World, Babylon welcomed an average of 800 visitors per day before the recession hit. That number now hovers around 500. "The entrance fee is already low, so dropping it won't make a difference," Pong says. So what's a sauna manager to do? "Pray for us," is all she can say.

    — With reporting by Robert Horn / Bangkok; Stephanie Kirchner / Berlin; and James Marson / Kiev

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    wishing I was in Montreal
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    a little late...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanum
    Here is an article
    CWipes posted the same article, about 90 minutes before you, here.

    Voyager
    "No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied—it speaks in silence to the very core of your being."
    -Ansel Adams

  3. #3
    Hard times have hot every biz, here in Canada we are feeling it the least compared to elsewhere.

  4. #4
    hemmm...you might be right
    But again, that's not everybody's case though
    Seeing is Truly Believing
    "100% All Natural Shemale/T-girl"
    click on my name and go to my homepage to find out!

  5. #5
    What is the situation in Montreal? Is it possible for agency owners to comment? Perhaps indies may also report on the situation.

    WBB

  6. #6
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    While waiting for my escort to get ready for her shift and me in a big Quebec City agency, I was talking to the others present. They mentioned it was a little slower lately.

    Mind you, Quebec City has still the second lowest unemployment rate in the country if not mistaken. I imagine other places being hit harder in the number of visits.

    Being new in this, I "invested" a lot of money(too much) in the past 5 weeks. I must had kept them in business.

  7. #7
    if I recall correctly, this is some high school stuff "supply VS demand"

    As I believe in all the places mentioned above, there has been a sudden drop in demand, and which caused the supply to be greater than demand. therefore the prices dropped and sevices went up etc...

    however here in Canada, I still think demand is greater than supply atm, so we'd be lucky if the prices didnt go up and services went down...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AznDude
    if I recall correctly, this is some high school stuff "supply VS demand"

    As I believe in all the places mentioned above, there has been a sudden drop in demand, and which caused the supply to be greater than demand. therefore the prices dropped and sevices went up etc...

    however here in Canada, I still think demand is greater than supply atm, so we'd be lucky if the prices didnt go up and services went down...
    Why do you say in Canada, the demand is greater than the supply? Isn't the recession hurting Canada also?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by daydreamer41
    Why do you say in Canada, the demand is greater than the supply? Isn't the recession hurting Canada also?
    well, if there are still places that charge you 180 dollars an hour and do not provide GFE, you do the math..at least I can say not hurting Canada hard enough maybe

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AznDude
    well, if there are still places that charge you 180 dollars an hour and do not provide GFE, you do the math..at least I can say not hurting Canada hard enough maybe

    The prices will drop here before the end of the month once SPs notice the lack of biz from the Grand Prix and less biz travellers and vactioners coming up here. it already has dropped a bit. ...but then are too dumb to move their price or fugure it out. There will be new ones coming out. There will be some more job losses this summer. This will not ottom out till the fall at best. The recession is just slowing down but still sliding. We have not quite hit the worst but we are getting closer.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jippprock
    The prices will drop here before the end of the month once SPs notice the lack of biz from the Grand Prix and less biz travellers and vactioners coming up here. it already has dropped a bit. ...but then are too dumb to move their price or fugure it out. There will be new ones coming out. There will be some more job losses this summer. This will not ottom out till the fall at best. The recession is just slowing down but still sliding. We have not quite hit the worst but we are getting closer.
    I dont know, care to make it interesting about the dropping in prices? I just dont see it happening here, I mean I heard about the news in Toronto and other places, but from what I see nothing has changed so far..

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jippprock
    The prices will drop here before the end of the month once SPs notice the lack of biz from the Grand Prix and less biz travellers and vactioners coming up here. it already has dropped a bit. ...but then are too dumb to move their price or fugure it out. There will be new ones coming out. There will be some more job losses this summer. This will not ottom out till the fall at best. The recession is just slowing down but still sliding. We have not quite hit the worst but we are getting closer.
    If the prices don't drop, what about customers being more selective in their spending? Girl doesn't meet their expectations, the person refuse's and goes to the next choice.

  13. #13

    prices drop?

    I notice more girls are advertising $200/hr, rather than the $180 that was standard the last couple of years.
    I used to donate an extra $20, but somehow 200 is my psychological limit.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by AznDude
    I dont know, care to make it interesting about the dropping in prices? I just dont see it happening here, I mean I heard about the news in Toronto and other places, but from what I see nothing has changed so far..
    It's similar to real estate... The prices were climbing and climbing and climbing to the moon in Toronto for 25 years. So, it only makes sense that they would retreat somewhat in a down economy. Montreal prices have gone up more slowly and never came close to the Toronto levels, so there's less of gaping vaccum for them to fall in Montreal.

    BD

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