Brothels in your neighbourhood: 10 questions you might have

In the last few months, the authorities have been very active in raiding home brothels. These businesses have become bolder, more aggressive and with newer technologies, they have become more prolific in acquiring customers.

Although many still ply their trade through sex forum  Sammy Boy, a great number of apps and independent websites have been setup to allow these ladies (whom are affectionally called “freelancers” or FLs in online speak) to look for customers.

But what’s behind the trade?

10. Will they make my neighbourhood more dangerous? 

Chances are, they won’t. Customers will come in a hurry, very quietly and very discreetly and leave swiftly after they have been satisfied with their services. They are not likely to loiter around for fear of being caught by someone.

9. How to detect them?

Very easy – if your female neighbour receives many male visitors throughout the day and/or night, you can be pretty sure there’s something odd going on.

8. How can neighbours deter these activites?

You won’t be able to deny someone from renting an apartment that’s not yours, but what you can do is stick a camera outside of your house and document all the people going in and out of the apartment. Any potential client is not going to risk his image captured and perhaps he’ll walk away. With the information, you can also help the police by providing evidence.

7. How can landlords deter these?

Sometimes, landlords rent their apartments to pimps unwittingly. In this case, you have to think like a pimp. You’ll be looking for low-overheads, relaxed security, neighbours whom are not around. Don’t beat market prices, charge rents that are at or above market rates. Make friends with the neighbours and remind potential tenants of the strong relationship with the neighbourhood. You might even want to consider sticking a camera outside the house, it won’t intrude on the privacy of the tenants and let you keep an eye on who is going in and out of the apartment. And always, always get a copy of your tenant’s identification to verify they are who they are.

6. Will the customer get into trouble if the sex workers are caught?

There is no law that makes a crime out of paying for sex. However, there are certain risks. If a man has sex with a girl that is under the age of 16, he can be convicted of statutory rape. If he pays for sex with a girl under the aged of 18, he will be guilty of commercial sex with a person under 18.

He cannot argue mistakes as to the age either because the Penal Code specifically denies a defendant this defence. If you want to engage in commercial sex, you take on these risks.

5. Is there a way to run a pimping website legally?

No you can’t. There have been entrepreunal individuals whom find ways to disguise it in many ways: as an escort site, as a modelling site, as a place where girls advertise themselves on their own accord. You have to remember that the laws look at the substance of your act, not the form. This means that if you sell pizza and your delivery girl provides sexual services, you are pimping no matter how you argue it.

4. Is it really profitable for the girls?

The NTU has actually performed such a study. THE typical freelance streetwalker in Geylang is 26 years old, services four clients a day for $70 each on average, and earns about $3,200 a month after deducting rent and other expenses.

Local girls appear to command more. In 2012, an underaged girl landed 44 men in prison, each serving varying sentences. Each one had paid up to $300 for her services.

However the renumeration, these girls are earning more than whatever else they can be doing.

3. How do they solicit? 

Do a search on Google on the internet. There are plenty of forums and sites that provide these services.There is always a picture of a hot girl with the face blurred out. Then there is a “field report” allegedly provided by men whom have went before you. You then send them a text by one of the services: WhatsApp, WeChat or SMS and they’ll reply you with the location and a booking slot.

2. Are the ladies what you usually ask for?

No. Whatever they say in the ad: hot, sexy, voluptuous, Korean, Japanese …whatever; they’re almost all the type of girl. An average looking girl from the People’s Republic of China. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get a character that’s in her 40s whom you quite likely not be attracted to sleep with – you’ll still have to pay of course, you don’t want to make a scene.

1. What other risks are there?

Chances are, you won’t meeting the sex bunny you saw in the advertisement. You’ll be disappointed and still have to pay the price of the service. Chances are the girl wouldn’t be in the home alone – there are other rooms, she will quite likely have male protection hiding somewhere. Your number will also be recorded on a service, so it really is up to law enforcers to decide if they want to invite you to tea – even if you think you hadn’t broken a law. You’ll also be shagging in someone else’s house, who knows what recording devices they have installed in the house?

Oh yeah, there is also the usual risk of STDs. Because these girls are on a budget, the brand (and quality) of condoms they use is questionable. Unlike their tenanted counterparts at Geylang, these girls are not subject to health and character checks.

On a side note, did you know that some STDs can be spread through towels?

 

 

About the author

Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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