There is a growing number of Ugandan youths, both male and female who have resorted to work as sex escorts across the country. The worrying rise is of girls between 19 and 29 years and guys between 23 and 35 years, all trading sex and pleasure for money.
Previously, young women and men would be used in massage parlors to offer Nuru massage with “happy endings” to different clients.
“In massage parlors, we would stimulate our clients, use fingers and our breasts to stimulate them. A client who paid Ugx 50,000 for a full body massage would willingly part with another Ugx 50,000 for a sex session with a happy ending,” says a Massasoit who asked not to be named.
However, as massage parlors increased, the different operators started innovating on how they could reach clients, discuss deals privately and offer services in a client’s private pads and hotel rooms.
Well as reflexology and massage move with health benefits including the relaxation of muscles, it also turned into a pleasurable game that offers clients pleasurable sex moments.
“That’s why, you find so many Facebook pages marketing the service, each operator is fighting to get his/her base and clients,” another operator said.
This website reached out to some Facebook page admins who confided that they can also offer a “happy ending” to the client.
“You come and discuss with the girls who do the massage when you reach an agreement, it is entirely between you and the service provider,” one of the online massage operators wrote.
One operator in a massage parlour in Zana, Wakiso District told this website that she makes an average of Ugx 150,000 a day from offering pleasure to different people.
“The most surprising part is that those who request for our services are married. While we are offering the service, we also remain mindful of the distress it leaves us with.” She says.
This according to an official in the Kampala Capital City Authority has also led to an increase in the number of massage parlors within the city.
Now, in a new twist, the operators of such pleasurable places have also taken up to online advertising to reach out to more clients.
For instance, web pages such as exotic Uganda (exoticuganda.com) have been established.
The pages offer web visitors with intent for pleasure a variety of men and women between 19 and 35 years ready to serve as sex escorts, offering services at a given fee.
On such sites, more than 100 young women from across the country and up to 50 men, all displaying all their body parts describe the services they offer at a stipulated fee. Also, telephone contacts of the different service providers are displayed for easy contact.
A 30-minute service game for adolescent girls goes between Ugx 100,000 and 150,000 while others charge in AUD (Australian Dollars).
This undercover reporter reached out to one of the sexy escorts in the game who accepted his advances, only to feel ashamed as both the Journalist and the service provider knew each other when they met in physically. They had both agreed on a Ugx 120,000 fee for an hour of service but opted out after the meeting.
Sex, world over is a profitable business offered on a willing buyer and willing seller narrative. Cities such as Las Vegas Nevada, and Kuala Lumpur and countries such as Japan have benefited from such sex trade, offering sex tourism in their countries.
In Uganda, streets such as Speke Road, bars and hotels have added sex tourism on their menus to satisfy their clients. Also, sex parties have also been organized severally offering different women men at as given fee to offer sex.
However, sex tourism and trade remain a threat since the business risks leaving many infected with sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.
In fact, a report done by a consortium of Civil Society groups on the 2017 World Aids Day celebrations in Kalangala indicated that the increasing rise of HIV was partly because of the mushrooming sex trade across the country.
In 2017 again, the Ethics and Integrity Minister Fr Simon Lokodo moved to introduce a ban on pornography saying it is derails the moral standing of a country.
But can the trade be abolished?
A report done by Alexa, a global site ranking website indicated pornographic websites are the most watched websites in Uganda, followed by sports betting websites.
Similar sentiments were deliberated by former Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa while on NBS the eagle talk show indicating that Ugandans are most interested in sex, betting and social media.
Fr Anthony Sonko a morality enthusiast in an interview with this website indicated that there is need to reintroduce social etiquette education in Uganda to avoid further growth of sex trade and tourism.
“That’s all we can do because Ugandans need to know that it is immoral to sell sex.” Fr Sonko indicated.
However, John Ssempeebwa, a tourism expert in Uganda says sex makes tourists excited about visiting a given country and thus regulating such trade kills the industry.
Many sex trade operators dealing in business, massage and acting as escorts have always hinted on lack of jobs as the main reason why they engage in the sex trade.
“We have studied, have no jobs and yet need to fend for our necessities. We only find that we get lured into the trade to meet our basic needs, have pleasure and a good life,” Relan Nakintu one of the sex escorts told Entebbe Post.
In 2013, the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders to Fight Against HIV started a drive where all sex workers were funded to start businesses of their own. However, many of the sex workers funded returned to the business.
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