An increasing number of cash-strapped students are turning to escorting as a way to earn money, Cherwell can reveal.
“I currently have three Oxford students on my books and have had many more previously. They come and go, whether to help finance their studies or just for the love of the money,” the manager of an escorting agency disclosed.
Contacting several escorting agencies based in Oxford under the alias “Kate Selby”, Cherwell found that escorts can be paid as much as £180 for a two hour booking, or up to £650 for an overnight booking.
A student in Oxford who escorts in her spare time said, “the thrill of earning money easily motivates me. 90% of the clients are very respectful and very nice guys. Most of the guys are in town on business staying at hotels”.
It remains unclear exactly what it is that the clients are paying for when they hire escorts. Some websites for escort agencies based in Oxford emphasise that the money paid by the client is not for sex, but rather for their escorts’ time.
One agency website explains, “[We] do not offer any illegal or immoral services. Any money paid is for time and companionship only and anything else that may occur is a personal matter between consenting adults.”
However when the manager of the same agency was asked whether working as an escort involved having sex with the clients, she replied that, “Yes sex is part of escorting.
Many students were not surprised to learn that escorting was an option some of their peers turn to.
Finola Holyoak, a second year Lincoln student, said, “There is no reason why Oxford students should be any less likely to escort than students at other universities.”
A survey conducted earlier this year revealed that one in three female university students would be willing to work in a gentleman’s club in order to fund their degree and lifestyle.
With 61% of female students saying they have felt “desperate” for money whilst studying, the survey showed that many women are turning to stripping and escorting in an attempt to find ways to financially support themselves.
One female third-year student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she was considering working as an escort if her financial situation worsened.
Commenting on students using escorting as source of income, a spokesperson for the University said, “Most students are adults and therefore responsible for their own behaviour. With regards to any form of employment, students are discouraged from working during term time as terms are short.”
He added that the university expects students “to behave responsibly and to avoid bringing the university into disrepute or being a nuisance to the local community”.
However, for many the financial benefits do not justify the wider social implications of the escorting industry.
One second-year English student said, “I think that regardless of the money you can make, services such as escorting still encourage an unhealthy towards sex and distort student attitudes towards relationships. It must be very destructive psychologically for young women”.