Doesn’t really compute, does it?

The going rate for sex has fallen from €50 (£35) at the beginning of the crisis, to as low as just €2 for a single session, Professor Lazos toldThe Times.

OK, terribly cheap now.

Professor Lazos said that his study, which records the cases of 18,500 sex workers in Greece, ‘reflects a society in denial about the changes taking place.’

OK, call it 20k girls on the game. Sounds about right for a country the size of Greece. Possibly a bit high even.

The Greek academic’s findings suggest that Greek women now dominate 80 per cent of the sex trade industry, which has become a €600 million business.

Don’t think so really, do you? 300 million shags a year at €2 a pop, if that’s quite the correct word? That’s 30 paid shags per year for every man woman and child in the country. Even at 50 a pop it’s still 12 million shags. Two per tart per day might work out. But not at that lower price.

37 thoughts on “Doesn’t really compute, does it?”

  1. No way is any woman that is not a drug-riddled wreck on the verge of death putting out for €2. What a lot of people don’t know is that hookers in any district have a floor below which they won’t drop their price, and that floor isn’t much lower than what it is when they’re busy. I saw in Thailand during the really low season that the girls were still demanding 1,000 baht (£20), during busy season it would be twice that. But you would never, ever find a girl to go for less than 1,000 baht unless she was some absolute freak you found in a remote patch of jungle somewhere. €2 is preposterous.

    BTW, I know the price of hookers in Thailand the same way I know the price of everything in Thailand: the vendors walk right up to you and cite it, and then the tourists talk about how much they were able to negotiate it downwards.

  2. If rates were that low in Greece, given that there’s no impediment to Greek chicas working anywhere in Europe, we’d have them showing up in Spain. Like we do Romanians, Bulgarians, Slovakians, Czechs, Poles….. Not to mention Brazilians, Argentinians, Colombians, Venezuelans, Paraguayans, Uraguayans, Dominicans…. And Nigerians, Ghanaians, Senegalese, Camaroonians, Cape Verdeans , Moroccans, Egyptians…Russians, Ukranians, Thais….
    But, to my knowledge, although there’s plenty of greek on offer, not a single Greek.

  3. Oh, and out of interest, I just checked a UK database & the total number of working girls self describing as Greek in the entire UK is………three.

  4. BiS: They might have been alluding to what they offer rather than their nationality.

    Also the type of woman (in national/racial terms ) might be an advertised turn-on –blue-eyed blond(Scandinavian)/Med type (Greek or Italian) etc–but just nationality?. Is there a fetish for sex with only certain types of nationals? Outside of those who want to marry into a particular European state?

  5. If 2 euros was the real price, Punternet forums would be blowing up. You would struggle to get a seat on a flight to Athens. Single blokes would be flocking there and paying for blowjob rather than having to buy Geordie lasses rum and cokes in Corfu.

    And what BiS said. Checking Punternet, you make about £100/hr here.

    We’re not even at the point of journalist exaggeration that stretches belief. There’s simply nothing credible about this. It’s as believable as anything David Icke writes. Women in North Korea make more than that (10,000 won per hour, or about 10 euros an hour or about 5 euros for a shag). That the Times and the WaPo will print this nonsense shows just how far they’ve fallen.

    Oh, and Professor Lazos himself is saying he never said that: http://www.chaniapost.eu/2015/11/28/professor-lazos-denies-that-his-study-proves-greek-women-sell-sex-for-food/

  6. The other point that this ‘study’ studiously ignores is that if you accept it as true (which the author presumably does) then it proves that the number of men who visit prostitutes is a relatively fixed proportion of the male population (in Greece at least) rather than a variable one based on price, and thus proves that the majority of men have moral standards about not paying for sex. Otherwise an increase in the supply of something wouldn’t trigger such a catastrophic drop in price.

  7. Always worth doing an actual data check on these things.
    A reliable source indicates the going rate on Fillis Street, Athens is €20 for a quick shag. That’s pretty well the bottom end of the market.
    Comparing with Spain, maybe a tad cheaper in economy class. Business/First class – much the same. Lot of girls working Athens seem to be Romanian/Russian.

    What is it about the sex industry? Can no journo ever manage to do the simplest fact-checking? Although the author of the Times piece seems, according to Anon’s link, to have a track record of making things up.

  8. Gamecock, do you know the origins of that phrase?

    “Dismal science” was the pro-slavery campaigners’ attempt to discredit Adam Smith’s argument that slavery was uneconomic.

    It’s still used whenever someone wants to hide uncomfortable evidence.

  9. Ah! Something I know about – I researched Victorian prostitution for a musuem exhibition I helped build. Best estimates for Victorian England are from Judith Walkowitz, of 1 prostitute per 36 inhabitants, or 1 per 12 adult males.

    If you accept that welfare and wealth inequality in Greece in 2015 is equivalent to that in Victorian England (e.g. that the determinants of the level of participation in the sex trade are equal) it would give you iro 300,000 prostitutes working in Greece; my guess would be that 10% or even 20% of this level of prostitution would not be unrealistic given residual welfare nets and family resources against poverty.

  10. “Best estimates for Victorian England are from Judith Walkowitz, of 1 prostitute per 36 inhabitants, or 1 per 12 adult males.”
    Really do think you need to find yourself some credible sources, if your’e doing museum exhibits*. Were her figures with or without Vietnamese nail-bar girls?

    *Of course I’m presuming museums intend to portray an accurate representation of history. probably as likely as 1 in 36 Victorians being filles de nuit.

  11. BIS – Yes, we tested the figures to destruction. They’re sound. In London an excellent primary source is Booth’s house-by-house poverty survey, in which the enumerators were usually accompanied by beat coppers. Some of the entries are eye-watering – “A street of three public houses and a coffee shop, all brothels …. red-faced Irish prostitutes … police do not patrol after dark” etc etc

    We also acked up with met police operational notes, convictions. Walkowitz’s scholarship is fairly well regarded on this topic. Write to me if you want to look at the evidence in detail.

  12. Origins be damned, Richard. Common usage has long since buried the origin. It is a useful phrase, and applies here perfectly.

  13. I’m not buying that 1 in 12 estimate. I could get there if the claim was ‘Victorian London’ with so many new people commuting into the capital or pervs attracted to the new jobs because of the fun to be had, and by subtraction the family orientated types staying in the provinces. But a 1 in 12 estimate for England as a whole, no.
    Where’s the equivalent of Booth’s survey for Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds etc?

  14. BIS,

    There’s definitely a lot more than today. A friend of mine wrote a pub guide to a town and well, a lot of the pubs were doing a lot more than just booze.

    And it makes sense in many ways. What were a married man’s options if he got sick of his wife or she wasn’t putting out? Well, whores. Today, you’ve got porn, slappers in bars, divorcees on internet sites looking for a husband and then finally, whores. And if you get caught, you’ll really suffer like Victorian men didn’t.

  15. Oh FFS!
    “If you accept that welfare and wealth inequality in Greece in 2015 is equivalent to that in Victorian England …it would give you iro 300,000 prostitutes working in Greece”
    In your dreams.
    I live in one of the Costa del Sols resort towns. This is a place tourists fly to PARTICULARLY for sex. We’ve a couple sizeable “nightclubs” (read whorehouses). Shouldn’t think I could find 150 putas in the entire place. In high season.
    That’s 0.02% of the resident population.
    If we were a similar sized city in inland Spain, off the tourist circuit, we might have couple dozen – cater for the locals’.
    needs.
    That’s in a country positively encourages prostitution.
    I checked the UK database, again. The internet site where any UK prossy looking for biz will know to get a page. 18,500 entries for a country of 60 million people & half of those will be girls; retired, gone back to Romania or double entered.
    Let’s ask a question, Radders, lad. When did YOU last buy a whore? In your answer you might find reality.

  16. Hi BIS – perhaps you need to take your nose out of your whisky glass to read replies accurately; my guess was for 10% perhaps 20% of the Victorian level.

    Prostitutes aren’t a homogenous breed today – they range from women with just one or two ‘generous’ men friends to girls serving limited regulars in a group to ‘hobby’ and daytripper housewife prostitutes to casual and opportunistic prostitutes. I’d guess the type that you know well, those that advertise on the internet, are a minority. To be frank, most street whores at the very bottom of the scale don’t even know how to switch a computer on. Your opinion probably says more about your personal experience than any objective evidence.

    So today we have 57 varieties of prostitution only a few of which are visible to old blokes on the interweb. In Victorian times choices were far fewer; social distictions were sharper, classes more spatially delineated, opportunities for casual meetings in places used in common less frequent. The few places where such direct contact could be made such as music halls were well used. Otherwise it was brothels or the street.

  17. @bis, are you looking at the professionals as opposed to those currently desperate for the next fix?

    I don’t find either the low or high bids plausible.

  18. BIS oh and NB – just because you can’t find girls who do sex for money doesn’t mean they’re not there – perhaps they just don’t want you to find them?

  19. @Richard

    To be specific, the pro-slavery campaigner who coined the phrase was Thomas Carlyle and it was directed not only against Smith, but all his successors many of whom were prominent abolitionists. There is a whole book on the subject: “How the Dismal Science Got Its Name: Classical Economics and the Ur-Text of Racial Politics” by David Levy.

  20. @BiG
    The 18.5k figure is for the number of prossies profiling on the UK’s main goto for working girls/boys. Anyone in the industry, looking for customers, will know about it & uses it. Because it’s the one most of the punters know & use. There are Craigslist, Vivastreet, Backpage etc but anyone advertising there will tell you what a source of timewasters they are. Going & coming.
    It’s going to be far from an inclusive guide to the numbers selling services. At the bottom end you’ve the streetwalkers & phonebox cards. Top end, agencies. But at least we’re in the right order of magnitude for service providers.

    @radders
    You’re so far from reality it’s not worth discussing it with you. Go learn something about the subject.

  21. BiS said:
    “At the bottom end you’ve the streetwalkers & phonebox cards”

    Do the phonebox cards still exist? I remember phoneboxes being festooned with them last century, but I haven’t noticed any more recently. Mind you, I suppose I haven’t been in a phone box since then either.

    Even had I wanted to try, there seemed to be a trust issue – it seemed highly unlikely that one would indeed find the gorgeous girl pictured on the cards. Similar to the “lemons” problem with second hand cars?

  22. radders,

    “Prostitutes aren’t a homogenous breed today – they range from women with just one or two ‘generous’ men friends to girls serving limited regulars in a group to ‘hobby’ and daytripper housewife prostitutes to casual and opportunistic prostitutes. I’d guess the type that you know well, those that advertise on the internet, are a minority. To be frank, most street whores at the very bottom of the scale don’t even know how to switch a computer on. Your opinion probably says more about your personal experience than any objective evidence.”

    Yes, but if it’s the site I think BIS is referring to, that covers all of that except street whores (and street whores hardly exist now). It’s also free, so unless you’re serving a tiny group of select clients (and does that really exist?) you’ll most likely be on there.

  23. BIS

    I suspect all or most of the self-reported “Greek” prostitutes are actually Albanian/Kosovar. (Though from what I’d heard elsewhere most Albanians self-identify as “Italian”, I think any other East Mediterranean destination will do.)

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    I would be a little careful of Charles Booth’s figures. We are talking about the Victorian crusading media personality.

    Also it was a way of enforcing middle class values on the poor. At one point the Scottish authorities would classify any single mother as a common prostitute on the birth certificate. Doesn’t mean she was. Single motherhood plummeted.

  25. Sorry gents – I’ll leave you to your prostitutes’ directories and anecdotal evidence – my mistake

    May you avoid any interesting social diseases this Christmas!

  26. “Sorry gents – I’ll leave you to your prostitutes’ directories and anecdotal evidence”

    Let’s not work with any evidence at all, apart from common sense & see where that gets us.

    Out of any million people, half will be female. Out of the remaining half – given an even age distribution, which there won’t be – half will be male between the ages of 20 & 60. The hooker using years. Now ask yourself a question: “Have I ever paid a hooker for sex?” As you will, no doubt, reply in the negative & consider yourself an average sort of bloke you are one of the half of the rightious who are not potential customers.
    Leaving 125,000 sinners
    Now let us be very conservative on how hard working girls work. Most of the fantacists will assign them work rates double or treble this.
    Your average hooker might work 15 days a month (there’s a portion of the month she won’t be working, for obvious reasons & they are allowed days off) Let’s give her 3 hours work a day. 45 hours a month. Some tricks may be an hour, some half hour, some may be quickies. Let’s average at 45 mins so she’ll do 60 tricks a month.
    Let’s go back to our potential punters. Some guys, although answering themselves ‘yes’ on their personal survey, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And some keen guys are frequent fliers. So let’s, for the sake of simple arithmetic, let them average one hooker experience per month.
    So now we can say there’s a demand of 125,000 tricks per month & divide our hookers’ 60 tpm into it & get 2,083.
    And that figure is the economic hooker carrying capacity of a population of 1 million. For Greece it’s 22,911. For the UK it’s 125,000
    It doesn’t give Greece 300,000 prossies or even 30,000. It doesn’t give the UK 150,000 Vietnamese nail bar girls. And those figures are hellishly optimistic for the demand for the services of the oldest profession. Actual evidence would tend to suggest it’s much lower.

  27. @bloke in Spain
    But isn’t the point of the article that supply has so outstripped demand that the prices have fallen drastically. So a 10 to 15 fold increase in supply has lead to a 96% reduction in price.
    Also wouldn’t you want to bump up the figures in Greece to allow for tourism increasing the male population and decrease the number in the UK for those who seek their kicks abroad.

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