Skip to comments.Teenagers offer cheap sex (New Zealand prostitution)
Posted on 07/10/2004 1:12:48 PM PDT by wagglebee
A year after a law change designed to get prostitutes off the street, a price war driven by teenage sex workers has flared up on the streets of South Auckland.
Market forces appear to be driving street prostitution as teenagers, some as young as 12, compete alongside seasoned sex workers - with tumbling prices the result.
Rather than pushing sex workers into legalised brothels, a Weekend Herald inquiry has found the new legislation has done little to discourage street prostitution.
This is especially true in pockets of South Auckland, where the Manukau City Council has been forced to shelve plans to ban sex workers from the street because of legal advice that the move might breach the Bill of Rights and the one-year-old Prostitution Reform Act.
While there is no hard evidence of an explosion of child prostitution since the decriminalisation of the industry a year ago, there have been reports of teenagers selling themselves for as little as $20.
"We can't expect to get $100 when these young things are offering it for much less just around the corner," said South Auckland prostitute, Cindy, who has been working the streets for 15 years.
Prostitutes spoken to by the Weekend Herald on the streets of South Auckland this week say that young streetworkers are muscling in on their patch and undercutting the competition by offering sex at less than a quarter of the usual price.
Where once a sex worker could expect $100 for her services, many were having to settle for $20 - or even less for oral sex.
Mama Tere Strickland, a transgender former sex worker who runs social agency Te Aronga Hou, said the streets of South Auckland had become "a highway of cheap love" with girls being coerced into the business by "pimp" boyfriends.
"These kids know there is a demand out there so they see themselves as prized possessions," Strickland said. "I am not exaggerating. It's a virtual free-for-all in South Auckland. These kids have no hope and no futures."
Many came from backgrounds of abuse and were out there to escape domineering parents and make a few bucks to feed their habits.
Decriminalisation had done nothing to deter young sex workers. Although soliciting was still illegal for anyone under the age of 18, it was nearly impossible to know who was of age, Strickland said.
Teri, a South Auckland prostitute who has been plying her trade for 20 years, said the street scene had changed dramatically in the past 12 months. The streets were now predominantly occupied by teenagers eager to make fast money.
But Auckland Prostitutes Collective head Kate Dickie was sceptical of suggestions that decriminalisation of the industry had led to aggressive competition on the streets. "Charging less does not mean more work. It just means you work harder for the same money."
Her colleague, Annah Pickering, a spokesperson for the collective's Outreach programme, said streetworkers made up only 8 per cent of the Auckland sex trade.
However, she often saw 14 and 15-year-old girls on the streets. Most were Maori and Pacific Islanders and came from homes where there was mental, physical and sexual abuse.
"For them it is about survival. It can be safer on the streets for these kids than it is in their own homes."
Inspector Bruce Bird of the South Auckland police said there were possibly slightly more prostitutes on the streets since the industry was decriminalised a year ago. But from a policing perspective there were the same issues in terms of dealing with crime and disorder.
"Unfortunately, prostitution does attract undesirables, which in turn creates more crime and disorder," he said.
There will be an AIDS epidemic, if not already. I don't feel sorry for em onne da#n bit.
They did it in Nv and it has not stopped the street walkers even though they are in violation of the law. It did clean up the brothels I understand..but what good is that if they still walk the streets?
Someone should teach these young women how to design handbags.
Does anyone have the progressive photos of the prostitute was arrested over and over? After 15 years on the street is it any wonder the customers go for younger, fresher, cheaper hookers?
And the girls are selling it so cheap because (A) they likely live at home (or a cheap hostel) and (B) they've been brought up to "understand" that sex isn't worth much (it certainly isn't prized or cherished, plenty of people just give it away).
"As a sex worker, I find this exploitation to be degrading! How cheap do they think I am???"
Hooker: "It was a rough night! I only made seventy dollars and fifty cents!"
Pimp? "Huh? Which one of 'em was it that gave you the fifty cents?"
Hooker: "They all did!"
Can Someone who speaks english translate that for me?
Yeah, after 20 years walking the streets, a hooker is going to look pretty "used up." On the other hand, when it is really tried (as Guiliani did with Times Square), prostitution can be reduced.
Sounds like a situation where minority youth especially are being victimized.
The same could be said of homosexuals and drug addicts.
I think it means: they do the same amount of degrading work for less money.
In Las Vegas they keep child prostitutes off the Vegas Strip by enforcing a curfew for anyone under 18 after 10PM.
Translation: the "hot" sluts become "trophy" second wives or girlfriends for wealthy middle-aged men.
When one has established the fact of what they are willing to do for money, the only thing left to decide is the price.
But who's going to teach them how to successfully market them?
What's your minimum wage, dear?
Government is not the answer, Sheryl.
Sounds like the day I was really thirsty but passed up a chance to buy sour milk. Who in their right mind would pay to have sex with Rudy?