Sex Industry in New Zealand Facing Slowdown: Depleting Market of Paid Sex Worries The Trade

By @diplomatist10 on
Prostitute
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New Zealand's sex industry is not in an exciting phase. Despite legalising prostitution, the sex workers are not having a windfall in business and there is a perceived "slow down" as in many other industries. It is almost 11 years, since prostitution was made a legitimate profession in the country.

Guess estimates are that the local industry may be pumping more than $750 million every year. In terms of the contribution to state's GDP, it is the equivalent of what the clothing and textiles sectors are collectively contributing. Conservative estimates of the Justice Ministry put the number from 3,000 to 15,000. But an insider like Catherine Healy, who is the national co-ordinator of "New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective" says it is a "tricky area to calculate." A report by Stuff.Co.Nz says, lack of hard data makes it difficult to ascertain the size and contribution of the sector in terms of the number of people operating in it and the actual revenue generated. 

Paid Sex Shinking

But it remains a fact that smart phone technology dented the business volumes of sex workers. Many complain about shortage of clients, as the rapid rise of hook-up smartphone apps such as Tinder reduced the market for paid sex. Catherine Healy says the main complaint of the trade is lack of work. The rise of online dating websites made casual sex easy and free, she told Stuff. .

On the earnings front, she dismisses fancy claims and said many sex workers would be happy if they could earn $1,000 a week. Exploitation is not uncommon. "Short-changed by the boss, lack of enough clients are the same problems in this trade also," Healy quipped. But legal reforms did help in making more people to manage their sex work through flexible working hours.

Take the case of Eva, who has an ordinary office job. But she pops out for a "long lunch" if she has clients. Eva admits, "I make enough money in the other job. If I want, I can go on holiday, buy nice things or even go out for dinner."

Not For Orgasms

Workers like Eva ideally see one client per day, but typically gets three or four a week. It is enjoyable, as far as the work goes, Eva said, making clear her commercial goal explicit with the comment; "I'm not there to have orgasms." Moving beyond the freelancers, we will see bigwigs like Wellington's Mary Brennan, who is running a proper business of it. Her high-end Fun House in Wellington employs professional sex workers who are selected on merit and have a busy schedule. Her typical sex worker would only see one or two clients a day. But when clients insist on multiple hours, overnight or want the girl to accompany on trip to Europe for a few weeks, the money will add up.

Fun House brothel takes care of all supplies, costumes, advertising and all other overheads. "As for earnings, if you break it down, after the tax, the girls here will be getting 70 per cent of the fees," Brennan asserted. But Fun House is at the premium end of the market and can afford a consistent pay structure. But pay conditions do vary across the industry. Still, Brennan claims the vast majority of brothels are working within the limits of law.