One in 20 students are working in the sex industry

Half of them do it to pay for uni

Look at all the people in your seminar of 20 people. Statistically one of them are turning tricks in the sex industry to pay their way through uni.

A survey of over 6,570 students revealed that five per cent of students have worked in the sex industry and almost a quarter of students have considered it to earn money.

Of those who have, a whopping 56 per cent do it to pay basic living expenses.

More men than women have worked in prostitution and escorting, as well as indirect sex work which doesn’t involve direct contact with the client, for example, phone chat sex, web cam work, stripping and glamour modelling.

Although 56 per cent of students involved in the sex industry cite the need to pay basic living expenses as their motive, and 45 per cent do so to counter debt, money was not the only factor for their interest in the industry.

An impressive 59 per cent of students chose the industry because they thought they’d enjoy the work, and 44 per cent were motivated by sexual pleasure.

Jade Buxton, 21, a pornstar and student at Manchester Met, said she stumbled across the industry and decided to get involved.

He said: “It was out of a combination of having spent my student loan and boredom.”

She said it was a more exciting career path and doesn’t regret it, and so far has only had one bad experience. A man in Luton attempted to make her sleep with a man for free, essentially making her an escort.


Jade Buxton

Jade said: “Fortunately I wasn’t attacked but it could’ve been a lot worse.”

But this hasn’t stopped her from working in the industry and she claims that protecting herself is fairly easy, as long as she is careful.

The research revealed that 76 per cent of students involved in the sex industry felt safe at work “always” or “very often”, and they were able to identify many positive aspects of the job. Flexible hours, sexual pleasure and good money were all listed as benefits of their work. Over half still kept their work life secret from friends and family.

But 1 in 4 students did not feel safe, with 50 per cent complaining of unpleasant customers and 36 per cent admitting a fear of violence on the job

Dr Tracey Sagar, who led the study at Swansea University, said: “At the moment students feel so stigmatised and judged that they are afraid or at least very reluctant to disclose their occupations to staff and services at Universities that could help them.

“Stereotyping is also a problem. A significant finding of the research is that more males are involved in the sex industry that is commonly thought.”

Of the people that completed the survey, 5 per cent of men said they were involved in sex work compared to 3.5 per cent of women. Dr Sagar also urges that males be taken into account despite the assumption of sex work as a predominantly female industry in order to avoid them falling through the net of support.