When it comes to the sex industry, Newcastle has its fair share of prostitutes walking the streets. Ladies and men, who by the sounds of it, are making a killing! We as “average joes and janes” are quick to judge anything outside of our worlds, but hopefully, after reading this article you will catch a glimpse of their realities.
One only needs to drive down Paterson Street to realise how industrious the sex trade truly is in our town. Corners filled with young ladies, who at first glance look like roughens, but after a brief conversation, you come to learn they are well mannered, working people, just trying to get by in this world.
But who makes use of these women? Is it party boys after a night out with their mates, or are the clientele upstanding, reputable men in their respective communities, who go about their daily lives, dropping kids at school, answering to a boss or running a company.
We have read peoples opinion of the disgusting mess that is left in the parks and the mattresses which were burnt. But has anyone ever taken the time to discuss their reality? I mean, after all, they are also Newcastle citizens.
The Newcastillian interviewed four prostitutes to find out a bit more about their lives and the people who they come across.
Who are their most popular customers?
“Black men come to us most often, then Indian men and a few white men,” says Lihle, who has been working as a prostitute since December 2018.
Her colleagues agree, with young Thembi saying she averages approximately two to three white men a week. “While the amounts differ depending on the holiday season, we see far fewer white guys than Black and Indian guys.”
Out of all the men who make use of their services, how many do they estimate are married?
Busi laughs and explains the bulk of the men who come to them are married. “Even though a lot like taking their rings off, we can still see the marks where the rings were before they stopped the car.”
Why would a married man even make use of their services? After all, doesn’t a good relationship between a husband and wife enjoy a healthy sex life?
“Maybe their wives just don’t give them any at home,” shrugs Nomsa, who has been working as a prostitute since October 2018.
How much do these women charge?
According to the four women, their clientele pays different rates. These ladies of the night say prices vary based on racial groups.
“Black guys are usually charged R50 for oral or R100 for oral and sex,” says Thembi.
Indian men are then charged between R100 to R150 for the same services, while some white men are expected to pay up to R300.
“Umlungus have money and that’s why we usually charge them more. But sometimes we check out their cars and we can see if a person can afford that or not,” laughs Busi.
The prices also fluctuate if the men prefer sex without a condom, they pay more if they do not want to use a contraceptive. However, Nomsa says, “I always use a condom, as I have a child at home, so I need to be safe”. But some of the other women will take chances.
Leading an unconventional lifestyle, just how many men make use of their services?
Lihle says she sees an average of 200 Black men alone during a month, with the figures variating between the other race groups. Just let that swirl around in your head, the next time you think you are working hard in unfavourable conditions.
As prostitutes deal with an array of men on a regular basis, working late hours and putting themselves in dangerous situations, who do they classify as the most violent customers?
“Black men are unfortunately the most violent,” says Thembi.
She explains that while Indian and White men are prone to the occasional violent outburst and losing their minds, Black men were most likely to rob or rape them.
“I was actually picked up on Monday, May 20, by a Black man in his company car. After we were done, he kicked me out of his car, took my handbag and drove off. I reported it to the police and yesterday (Tuesday), he drove past me, the cops were luckily in the area at the time and they got my stuff back when I called for them and pointed the guy out.”
While these women lead a lifestyle that many of us do not understand or condone, it is a lifestyle that has been created through the men that hire them and to be honest, is the oldest profession on earth.
Seeing the extent to which people will go to in order to provide for their families versus the moral code we are raised with, stories like these leave you realising just how good you have it…hopefully.