College students need to support themselves somehow. And in China, it’s becoming increasingly popular to make a living selling your body. Prostitution in China is on the rise — particularly among college students — and girls get paid not on a nightly basis, but a yearly fee.
Annual fees start around $5,000 for more homely girls, while the pretty girls — the ones who usually attend drama school — garner the most attention, and are the most expensive. Those girls can make around $25,000 a year, but the price is high: Unprotected sex is rampant among college prostitutes, who don’t want to view the sex work they do as actual prostitution.Coed prostitution is nothing new. While some girls prostitute themselves, others strip. In the mid-’90s Heidi Mattson made waves with her book Ivy League Stripper, which documented how she paid her way through Brown University by stripping. More recently, Japan’s seen an increase in sex-for-pay among high school and college girls. In Japan, young girls who prostitute themselves call what they’re doing Enjo Kosai, or “compensated dating.”
But what is new is that it’s happening in China — where no doubt Western influence has contributed to college kids wanting for more material goods and having to find a way to get them. Explained one Chinese pimp, “Most of the girls are financially comfortable, but they see their classmates carrying Louis Vuitton or Gucci bags, and they’re jealous,”
It’s become such an epidemic that Chinese universities have now been legislating against it, expressly banning students from working as escorts or mistresses. Many college prostitutes believe that this will be a shortcut to a better life — and it’s also reflective of changing attitudes in China. Where just a generation ago, premarital sex was looked down upon, now an influx of modernization, capitalism and outside influence have sped up social change. “Years ago, when people heard somebody was a prostitute, they would criticize her very harshly, so girls who might want to copy her would change their minds,” explained one co-ed prostitute. “These days, people’s attitudes have totally changed. They laugh at poor people, but they don’t laugh at prostitutes.” [Los Angeles Times]