It might sound creepy, but the act of giving free accommodation in exchange for sex is currently 100% legal. More and more landlords are promoting rent for sex, advertising on sites such as craigslist. Other news this week includes an ex-escort sex therapist.
It sounds like a terrible plot in a porno, but landlords offering accommodation in exchange for sexual favours is very real, and definitely not as sexy. As sleazy as the practice sounds, it’s also completely legal.
It’s a real concern however, as many young men and women are finding themselves desperate for housing, and willing to do anything to not become homeless. Once in such an arrangement they are opening themselves up to domestic violence and abuse.
Websites such as Craigslist and Gumtree are hosting these adverts. I instantly found a few on a quick search. They advertise with phrases such as:
“Looking for a mutually beneficial arrangement, rent and bills paid for.”
“You agree sort of like a couple of times a week, pop into my room sort of thing, but as far as the apartment’s concerned, it’s like completely as if we’re flatmates. It’s all the bills, the rent, free.”
The reason these arrangements are legal is because young men and women come into the arrangements voluntarily. Landlords are very clear and transparent about what they want an expect.
One landlord told the BBC “You can argue that high rent charged by landlords is taking advantage too. There’s no compulsion for them to do this. Everyone goes into it with their eyes wide open.
“I am the last type of person who’d like to take advantage. Both sides have something the other person wants. I see it as a win-win situation.”
However Andrew Wallis, of anti-slavery charity Unseen retaliates with
“The trouble is when you have a vulnerable person who then becomes exploited, the concept of choice soon disappears.”
Surveys have shown than around 25% of young homeless people have stayed with a stranger before, with 14% more saying they considered it.
Some charities are now petitioning for legislation against rent for sex adverts. Many believe that the websites that are hosting the adverts should be actively banning such adverts on their site.
Escort turned Love-Guru
Emmajane Love is a 33 year old ex-escort who now runs a successful relationship coach and love-guru.
She used to make £3000 a week from escorting and running a brothel in Perth, Australia. From her escorting work she learnt a lot of insights into people’s relationships, and why many people use escorts.
“It didn’t take long to notice that the reason people were using escorts was to fill a void.” She confides, “I realised there was a way I could use my experiences to help people – and I decided to become a relationship coach. I’ve treated erectile dysfunction, helped people reach orgasm for the first time and reunited couples who had lost their spark and connection.”
Emmajane took her work away from Australia, training in California and now works with clients globally. Despite the stigma she still gets for her profession, she now feels more confident and happy than ever.
“But I’m really proud of the fact I can help people to have fulfilling relationships and also be sexually gratified. Becoming an escort was something I chose as it gave me control.”
“I’ve helped other women like myself to leave the traditional sex industry and tap into this market, helping others with physical touch rather than with intimacy.”