Sunday Magazine

Social media: The booming online sex market

Unlimited access to Internet facilities has earned social media space a booming online sex market for young Nigerians, and by extension, elderly ones who surf the Internet for sexual satisfaction. As a result, the sex industry has aggressively adopted every new information technology to increase sexual rights of entry and prostitutions. Thus, newly developed technologies enable pimps, whether individuals or organisations, to advertise and market prostitution or its related activities in the country, including online strip shows, sex shows, actions and commercial voyeurism among others. CHIJIOKE IREMEKA report

 

• Why we prefer online sales to personal visits –Sex hawker

• It’s satanic to sell your body –Pastor

• Sex sellers, buyers need treatment –Psychologist

• Some scammers pose as girls –Victim

 

 

While voyeurism is defined as an interest in observing unsuspecting people while they undress, naked, or engaged in sexual activities, prostitution on itself refers to the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. It’s sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking.

But euphemistically, prostitution is dubbed the world’s oldest profession in the Englishspeaking planet, and a branch of the sex industry alongside pornography, stripping, and erotic dancing among others.

Though, the commercial phone sex services have been available for decades, but with Covid- 19 pandemic, where ‘no contact policy’ is in place, online sex services have been encouraged in most countries of the world since some actors are scared of contracting the disease, hence resorted to voyeurism Sunday Telegraph learnt that the advent of the Internet has made other forms of virtual sex available for money, including computermediated cybersex in which sexual services are provided in text form by way of chat rooms or instant messaging, or audio-visually through a webcam (camgirl).

 

Consequently, the rate of moral degradation in the country, where female now found a thriving business arena on social media to sell their nudity is quite high, and leading to what is seen today as virtual sex – sexual acts conveyed by messages rather than physical. It was learnt that a webcam model whether camgirl or camboy, is a video performer who is streamed on the Internet with a live webcam broadcast.

 

It often performs erotic acts online, such as stripping, masturbation, or sex acts in exchange for money, goods, or attention. Unlike other sex-works (street prostitution), webcam models may operate from the safety of their homes and sell videos of their performances.

They have no need for pimps, which can be seen by prostitutes as protectors but they are at the liberty to choose the amount of sexual content for their broadcasts.

While many of them display nudity and sexually provocative behaviours, some choose to remain mostly clothed, discuss sex and get paid for it. They believe that online prostitution is better than the brothel or on the street prostitution.

“Among the advantages of online sexual activities is that it removes the risks of infection, especially sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

 

You are not scared of pregnancy, gangrape, molestation or ritual killings that have taken the lives of many ‘on street’ prostitutes,” said Windy Elemor (pseudo name). Bisola Ojurongbe once saw her girlfriend displaying her heavy boobs in front of a laptop’s webcam while chatting with a Whiteman online, though she wasn’t sure whether it was done for money or sexual pleasure, according to her. “I visited a friend of mine, Joy and spent the night in her place. I was fast.

 

But while I was sleeping, she giggled and laughed aloud. I got up, inquired and she said she was chatting with a man online, who was displaying his manhood, and appealed to her to reciprocate by showing him her boobs,” she said laughing.

“So, my friend then removed her bra and positioned her boobs in front of the webcam in such a manner that her face would not appear. I wanted to see whom she was videochatting with but she nudged me.

 

She said the man will see my face and feel betrayed,” she explained. “Well, she said the man was an online friend but I don’t know in detail what kind of relationship she was keeping with the man. I think she was doing it for fun and not for money, though I can’t say for sure. Joy is very fair, fine and busty.

So, she was dangling her boobs over the laptop’s webcam,” she added.

According to the Sex-Trade Industry Journal, webcam models are predominantly women but also include performers of all genders and sexualities depending on what one is looking for.

 

For instance, by 2016, according to the Journal, webcam was viewed as a small niche in the world of adult entertainment and thus became the engine of the porn industry.

 

A July 2020 survey revealed that an average webcam model in the United States works for 18 hours per week and earns $4,470 per month. Webcam models who work full-time (40 hours per week or more) earn $11,250 per month on average.

 

It was gathered that top-earning webcam models have a self-reported income of over $312,000 per year, while bottom earners take home as little as $100 per week, making it a lucrative business for the conscious-less and those who view it as an art.

 

Sequel to the booming nature of this trade and proliferation of sex sites, many people seeking fun were patronising different sex sites, while many other online prostitutes advertise and even harass certain men through their whatsapp, facebook or Instagram or any other site they deem fit to market their products.

 

For instance, in Nigeria, some girls advertise masturbation till release for N15, 000 in some sites; nude pictures go for N7, 000; camgirl N10, 000; arousal provocative behaviours go for N5, 000. But on Desire5k.com, sex seekers have to cough out $13.50 to have access to nude pictures and videos on monthly basis or $34.80 for three months, or $64.80 for six months.

 

Of course, due to the booming business, one might be taken aback to find one’s friends, daughters, wife, husband or even neighbours’ wives or husbands in such prostitution sites when launched into it, though there are cautions on the strategic spots to ensure one doesn’t act out of order should one sees a known face there.

 

The site administrators also had done well by publishing certain caveats on the site which displays as one is about gaining entrance into such sites, and accepting to comply with the operating rules of surfing the sites and keeping the identity of the members’ as secret as required, is a deciding factor for admission seekers into the site(s).

 

The applicants must agree to these conditions before being admitted to ensure he or she doesn’t let the cat out of the bag. One of such caveats on one site reads: “Many of these women are desperate single moms and cheating wives looking for some fun.

They could be your neighbours or someone you know. Do you agree to keep the identity of these women a secret?” In another sex site, Bendmeover.com, it reads:

“The women on this site are horny cheating girlfriends and single moms looking to f..k all the time. It is likely you will see someone you know. Do you agree to keep their identity secret?”

 

Then, the admission seekers will agree thus: “If I see profile pictures of someone I know, I will not reveal their identity. I will respect the sexual desires of my fellow members.” However, the charges for their services defer from the service one chooses or rendered to the other.

To some, they choose romance, masturbation till climax and webcam sex display. Some view nude pictures, while others want the real thing. All these determine the amount paid to the horny ladies.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that these people who operate on social media are way far more expensive than those in the brothel or on the street wearing skimpy dresses and calling for commercial coitus.

In some cases, the online market arena is the meeting point of some of these prostitutes and their clients to discuss business and make partpayments for the services they choose to show their seriousness before a physical meeting will be held for the chosen service or services.

 

Some of them also want the payment of their services paid in full before embarking on such ‘sex tourism,’ while others, for security reasons, do not go for home delivery services but book an appointment in a hotel that will be okay for the ‘partners’ depending on what they want.

 

‘Sex tourism,’ according to the World Tourism Organisation, a specialised agency of    the United Nations, is a trip organised from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination.

 

“I am sorry; I don’t go to a customer’s house or private place that is not a hotel or hidden places, whether for service or discussion.

Either you come to my location or we meet in a hotel after payment. It’s very risky to visit anyone at home now. So, I won’t come over,” said Benny O., when she was approached online for a physical meeting.

 

“Traveling for sex now is lucrative but deadly. Your air ticket will be paid which you can even add to the money you are going to make. Many have gone that way and never returned. Money is what I want and not death,” she held onto her no home visiting policy.

Sunday Telegraph observed that some of these online prostitutes are employed in one organisation or the other but needed more streams of income as their current pay doesn’t take care of their needs and needed to make the ends meet due to the unpalatable economic situation in the country. Some of them are self-employed.

 

Hairdressers, students, fashion designers, nail fixing technicians, petty Spa and Gym owners among others, are some of the professionals that sell their wares online. Most times, it was learnt that these cyber prostitutes trail rich personalities and target them online.

 

Some of them exchange contacts at public places after sizing them up.

 

They add them up online or send them friend requests with a view to work on their psyche towards patronising them. “Don’t think I am jobless. I have a hair dressing salon and people who work under me. I’m not begging; we are doing business.

 

So, if you can afford me, carry me but if you can’t, then allow other men who eat big fish to come around,” boasted one of them, Lilian Aso (online operating name) when she was being bargained with.

 

Somewhere at Olusosun, Oregun, Ikeja, the Lagos State capital, our correspondent got an invitation to attend a sex night out with some scarlet of the night.

 

 

The event was to feature nude dance, open air romance and all manner of sexual perversions till dawn. While admission was free for women, their male counterparts will make an online or advance payment of N10, 000 to gain entrance to the event, N12, 000 will be for on the spot payment before for males.

 

Of course, there was no forwarding address for the venue of this event of this species until payment has been made or the admin confirms that you are a genuine fun/sex seeker before someone will direct you while on transit to the venue to make payment at one’s arrival.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that part of the reasons for doing this is to ensure that the law enforcement agencies do not visit the venue to raid or extort money from the guests or the organisers as well as not making the event an all comers’ affair. Reaching out to the WhatsApp number provided for directions, a nude picture of a chocolate skinned blonde lady with irresistible curves and looks was displayed on her DP.

 

Such a picture quickens the secretion of adrenaline, in high volume, into the bloodstream of an undecided client to pay up the advertised N10, 000 with a ‘don’t mention’ complement or ‘keep the change’ philanthropy.

 

For clarity, our undercover Correspondent, who was being professional on this assignment, pretended to be serious and opted to make payment on the spot which will enable him to get all the information needed for this article.

This earned him the luxury of knowing the venue of such a mass sex extravaganza. Harassed by these online prostitutes, a married man, and a notable figure in the Nigerian media industry (name withheld) was beleaguered by these online prostitutes due to his picture association with the former President on his Instagram page.

According to him, he used the picture on his page and ever since then, he lost his peace over what he described as sexual harassment by these online prostitutes.

 

“In three weeks, I received over 50 nude pictures and videos from one person who wanted my patronage. I have been equally contacted seeking my patronage. I received a price list of sexual services, including masturbation till cum for N15, 000…” he quipped.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that some elderly people are also into the business of voyeurism. While they may not want to go for the real show, they opt for sex videos, masturbation and nude pictures detailing all the right features, figures and shapes, especially for ladies with stunning curves.

 

During Sunday Telegraph’s visit to one of the cyber café in Festac Town to discover what people do online, an elderly man, identified by the business owner as Alhaji, was seen watching porn to get satisfaction. He was said to do that on a regular basis. However, the experience of Mr. Jideofor Nelson reveals the operability of these online prostitutes, who combine as scammers.

 

They hide their identity but reveal it gradually as they gain confidence in who they are relating with. Nelson met with a lady online, who goes by the name, Christiana Young, after confirming her friend’s request and discussion ensued.

 

“Hello, thanks for confirming my request. Trust you are good. You are looking good. How are you doing today?” she enquired.

 

According to Nelson, the lady asked if he had heard of the expression, hook-up, which he responded in affirmation but he was scored zero by Christiana for not answering correctly.

He said: “Christiana asked if I have heard about the word hook up. I answered but she said I got it wrong. Hook up, according to her means sex and she asked if I was interested. I said yes.

 

Then she said I have to pay her for everything and asked me how much I was going to pay. As a big boy, I told her to name her price, and requested a sample display from her. “She said N20, 000 but we bargained and settled for N8, 000.

 

At first, I thought it was N20, 000 but didn’t know that supposedly Los Angelos Christian Young is one of the online prostitutes based in Lagos. Now, having agreed on the price, she said I should pay half of the money before she will add me to her WhatsApp number or any action.

 

“Immediately, she wired a nude picture of a yet-to-be identified white lady and said, ‘You can see I am naked already. But before we start, you have to send me money. When I discovered that she was ready to fire on, I diverted the discussion to physical stuff to delay it further.

 

“Lo and behold, Christiana Young, a supposedly Los Angeles lady, has suddenly turned a Nigerian nationale. Her account details read a local bank with a local name. With an open mouth, I said okay. “Now, it’s time to discharge her.

So, I said I still need the physical stuff but she asked me not to worry, saying she will surprise me. Just commit me with money then we start, she said to me, adding that she is already in the bed. She slammed the nude picture of that same lady lying in bed who she claimed to be.

 

“I said to her, ‘babygirl, please make me understand. I have seen you on the bed but I haven’t seen myself there but she responded in a slight anger, ‘Okay, you didn’t believe me. Don’t worry again. You thought I wanted to scam you. Please, if you are not interested in it again, please leave it.’

 

“At this stage I said to her, “Baby girl, don’t misunderstand me. I want to behold your real body. Kiss you and do the thorough job. Please, try to understand me. Anything online is punishing myself. Can’t you see? And she responded by telling me to calm down and not to be in a hurry.

 

She was still asking me to send the half payment so that we can move to the next page. “I demanded to know the details of her operability but she got angry, ‘See I can’t talk too much okay. If you are not interested, you can let me be, please. At least, you are not the first person I am doing this with.

 

So, if you are not interested let me be please. Don’t worry about that again. I can’t talk too much.”

 

“I responded with a long text: “Baby girl, I am not worried at all. You don’t need to talk too much because I have known everything by your actions. I think your business strategy is not good enough. I don’t even know your identity or know your number, yet, you want me to part with N4, 000 as part-payment of a service I wasn’t convinced of how it would happen.

“More concern was sending me nude pictures of a white lady, while the name on the account is a Nigerian. You wanted to surprise me online when I wasn’t paying for porn!

 

At this point, I got to know that you may be one of those ladies that operate in Lagos which I have no problem with but I needed you to, at least, open up a bit to me and tell me that upon payment, you will visit me or tell me where we were to meet. “Instead, you wanted me to pay immediately, so that we will start immediately. How? Online? How?

 

Many young ladies in Ikeja and Island do this but they will spell out the terms well. Some will even demand full payment before they visit but yours is like a bail system. You might need to review your strategy to be more convincing. “I am not against you operating in Nigeria but just clearing the dust. I am still interested if you are fine but if not, I am okay with your decision. Good night love. Cheers!” She laughed and said: “Lol!

 

Don’t ever call me your love again, okay’ and I said ‘Okay Love. Trust you are good’ and she gave me a thumbs up and walked away.” For Mukhtar Kobi, society is free when people residing in it are good, both morally and otherwise, saying that the hike in sexual engagements among youths is worrisome as it affects their ambitions as the future hope of the country.

 

As a result of parental and leaders’ negligence, he stated, young girls meant to be in school pursuing their educations are left to the mercy of prostitution for living. Speaking on the factors fueling prostitution, he said, prostitution is caused by many factors, which include forceful marriage, saying that some parents choose life-partners for their daughters based on wealth or promises made when couples to be were infants.

 

He said: “Those teenage daughters prefer to run away and live alone in other cities than to marry the choices of their parents. Sadly, only few of them engage in fruitful ventures while the majority goes for prostitution to survive the hardship in the land.

 

“More so, the maltreatment daughters receive after the death of their mothers from another father’s wife is also a major factor. Such girls are subjected to house chores; not allowed to relax but treated kindly in the presence of male parents.

 

“Apart from all these, peers lure friends into whatever they do gradually. Prostitutes at times wear expensive attires, consume their desired cuisines and drive all sorts of cars, which make shallow-thinking ladies take prostitution as fruitful venture and indulge in it.”

 

According to the General Overseer of Vision of God Bible Church, Festac, Lagos, Rev Victor Obiora, while a number of things including hardship could push ladies into prostitution, there is no excuse for anyone to choose to use the temple of God for merchandise.

 

Quoting 1Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?’ he said, going about naked or on Internet is satanic, which is part of the reasons Sodom and Gomorra got destroyed.

 

“You are not meant to sell your body to a man who is not your husband for fun or for money. It’s demonic, it’s satanic. Your body is precious and should be taken care of and protected. It’s shameful and disgracing for other people to see your nakedness,” he said.

 

However, a clinical psychologist, Dr. Candyfidel Okoye, said prostitution starts from the moment one develops an idea of using his or her sexual organ to earn a living, saying that there are huge number of guys that engage in prostitution not to pay but to be paid by independent women called ‘Sugar Mommies.’

 

He said exposure to violence through engagement in prostitution may contribute to persistent and severe psychological problems in not only direct victims but also people in close proximity, who can suffer from a range of emotional symptoms in spite of not being directly exposed to the traumatic events.

 

“Hypersexual disorder, or sex addiction, including paying for sex addiction and voyeurism, is a brain disorder of ‘faulty wiring’ requiring professional treatment to achieve full recovery. There is extraordinary high sexual arousals and severe sexual cravings, including surges of empowerment, when thinking of, or preparing for, their sex appointments,” he said.

 

Sunday Telegraph learnt that paying for sex promotes in sex addicts powerful neurotransmitter releases in their meso limbic brain circuitry associated with basic emotions such as pleasure, sex, moods, reward, motivation, and dominance, and is believed to form a biological basis for sexual addiction. It was learnt that not all users or providers of paid sex services are sex addicts.

 

Addiction to prostitution sex can be assumed where paying for sex has taken over other essential areas of a person’s sexuality and personal life, and where a person cannot stop such behaviour even if they sincerely desire to do so.

 

“They may spend inordinate amounts of time vividly and explicitly fantasising about sex with a sex worker or client, binge their sex appointments, and may experience crippling disappointments, regrets, emptiness and negative mood swings after the act,” he added.

 

He said curbing the excess of prostitution in the society, whether online or street based, extreme materialism must be discouraged; hawking is threat to girls’ dignity and lives, as they enroll in sex for money if what they are hawking are not sold. Co-wives should treat all daughters fairly.

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