Students turn to prostitution in order to better pay for tuition
College can be expensive — so expensive that students sometimes feel the University is personally withdrawing every cent from their bank account.
Students often get part-time or full-time, jobs in order to pay for growing expenses related to tuition, books and residential life.
A college education is valuable enough that some students are willing to do anything to get it.
America’s youth has found one way to get cash to pay for collegiate expenses through a growing trade in Houston’s own streets: male prostitution.
In one story from the Huffington Post, an ex-male prostitute in New York described some of his experiences in trying to get funds for college.
This includes one memory with his loan officer, who told him to locate $8,000 for his loan or risk expulsion.
“Once and for all, I just wanted her to understand what the expense of NYU was really costing some of us. … I felt like telling her: You really have no idea what some of us do in order to stay here,” he told the Huffington Post.
The student turned to prostitution halfway through his college experience.
Men are now putting themselves out for money in exchange for a few sexual acts, or turning tricks, in Houston.
The World Internet News interviewed two male escorts, “James” and “Stephen,” living in the Montrose area about where they find their clients. One man is homosexual. The other is not, but they both rely on enticing male clients from the streets.
Some men aren’t confined to walking the streets. Instead, they have broadened their horizons with the help of the Internet.
Using cyber chat rooms, sex workers have been able to negotiate with more clients without leaving the comfort of their homes. A prostitute can set up the entire meeting without ever having to walk the streets.
But some college students are going even farther and making their arrangements more long-term.
According to the Huffington Post, there are now several websites set up specifically for America’s youth to find “sugar daddies” and “sugar mommas” while the older generation searches for “sugar babies.”
Two of these sites are Sugardaddyforme.com and SeekingArrangement.com, both catering to a generation of young people in need of some college-related financial need.
The one thing that ties them together the most is the number of homosexual men in their later years seeking a younger man to have a relationship with, which includes giving the younger men expensive clothes, allowances and gifts.
These young men don’t receive only gifts, though. On the websites, these sugar babies list what they would like in return for having a relationship with their “sugar” parent.
According to the website’s founder, Sugardaddyforme.com has 80,000 young men seeking a sugar daddy, and of that 80,000, a quarter asked for help with their college finances as payment for their services.
Some of these students might even be fellow Cougars doing what they can to pay for their tuition.
Some students feel that prostitution for tuition shouldn’t be the way to go.
Political science junior Maria Espino said “there are more legitimate ways to get money.”
But nothing is black and white. Even computer science sophomore Frances Farraro acknowledged that the incentives are understandably tempting.
“It would be a great way to make money, if you can accept that you have to depend on someone else who only wants your body,” Farraro said. “That wouldn’t be my kind of lifestyle. I couldn’t give myself away like that.”
Understandably enough, there remains a stigma associated with the illegal sexual practice in Texas.
“I’m not saying go do it,” Farraro said. “It’s illegal, but I am saying it’s easy to moralize when you’re not the one suffering.”
With so much riding on getting a college education, the allure is definitely there, but with President Barack Obama working to make college more affordable, it remains to be seen whether student prostitution will continue long-term.
It won’t be going anywhere in the near future, though. As long as there is a market for the physical attributes of a human being, there will be someone ready to answer the call.
UH is always there for its fellow Cougars. If you or someone you know needs help, there are resources available in the Counseling and Psychological Services office from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday throughFriday in Student Service Center 1 Room 226.
Opinion columnist Rachel Lee is an English sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].