Reasons for prostitution – sellers
People sell sex for longer or shorter time for a variety of reasons. The reasons often overlap, with one being replaced by another one over time. Below we have set out the most common reasons:
Poverty. Global poverty and inequality is the most important reason why many people in the world view selling sex as a financial solution for themselves and their families. Many persons migrate from low income countries to high income ones in order to improve their financial situation. High income countries often have strict immigration policies, and migrants often need the assistance from criminal networks in order to enter. Once in the country, due to the fact that they entered it illegally, they often end up i the shadow economy. This includes prostitution, begging, working in the black economy, or criminal activity.
Although Norway is a high income country with an excellent welfare system, there are still Norwegians who experience relative poverty. Some people do however choose to sell sex in order to provide for their children, repay debt, pay rent or cover other expenses, but we know that very few people choose prostitution if they have other alternatives.
Drug and alcohol abuse. Due to the high cost of sustaining an addiction, drug and alcohol dependence is another reason why some people sell sexual services. Often, people with substance abuse find that selling sexual services and their addiction problem become mutually dependent; the money from prostitution is used on drugs and alcohol, and they need the drugs and alcohol to cope with selling sex, thus creating a vicious circle.
High-spending. In our society, many people measure status and success in terms of wealth and the ability to spend money on eating out, expensive holidays and expensive clothes. For some, selling sexual services becomes a mean to be able to live up to this ideal. A high-spending lifestyle can be addictive, making persons dependent on prostitution to uphold it.
Other reasons. People who have sold sexual services are more likely to have experienced violence and sexual abuse than the general population. Some state a difficult relationship with their own sexuality as one of the reasons they started selling sex.
People who have experienced neglect in childhood, or who for some other reason have an unmet need for attention, for intimacy and for social interaction, also sometimes end up in prostitution. Selling sex can give some individuals the appreciation, positive attention and sense of companionship that they are desperate for.
People in vulnerable situations, such as young asylum-seekers or teenagers adrift, will sometimes exchange sexual services for shelter, food and care. This it touches upon prostitution, this phenomena is generally referred to as survival- or trading sex.
For some people, selling sexual services is a way of meeting new people and entering social groups that would otherwise have been closed to them. Thrill-seeking, curiosity and wanting to be unconventional are some of the motivating factors. Some persons also state that they sell sexual services as part of exploring their own sexuality.
Sometimes prostitution appears to offer a way out of difficult circumstances. Getting hold of a lot of money quickly can give someone independence from a violent spouse, aggressive creditors or a badly paid job, to mention a few examples.