Monrovia- FrontPage Africa has gathered that commercial sex workers at famous bars and motels in Monrovia are desperate for customers and have reduced their charges in order to lure more clients.
The prostitutes who are being affected by the fluctuations of the economy, have lamented a sharp drop in patronage from their erstwhile customers with some of them even showing sheer desperation to get men sleep with them for money.
A tour by our reporter of popular hotels in Monrovia including Talk of the Town, Princess and Sis Theresa’s Palace, gathered that sex workers were in a pretty bad shape.
A sex worker identified as Jessica said: "There is no money in the country. Guys are complaining, I have been here for hours and no one has come.”
At “Talk of the Town”, a popular club located on Center Street where prostitution booms during broad daylight, three ladies approach our correspondent who went after them to sample anyone who might be good enough for the night in a bid to outwit the other person to win the 'contract'.
Beatrice, who apparently appeared first, was literally begging to be taken home by the correspondent, who opted for fee far below the normal prices between LD$800 and LD$ 1,000 per night.
Down from her initial LD$1,500 night billing, Beatrice eventually accepted LD$ 500 and was quick to say "Okay, let’s go to your house..; you will enjoy me."
While Beatrice was poise to lower her bid, others in the queue made their presence known, but were insisting on the usually charges of LD$800 and LD$1,000 a night.
Another sex worker identified as Sharon, while bargaining, stated: "I love fat men, just pay LD$500 for “short time” and let’s enjoy ourselves.”
Janet, another prostitute who seemed to have been isolated by the journalist carrying out the survey voiced out frustratingly, saying she prays for “God to send her new customers to take her home.”
"You know that you don’t want to carry me to your house and you came here and wasted my time,” she said angrily.
“If I had stood at that place, somebody else would have carried me."
At the popular Princess motel on Gurley street, another night sex worker billed LD$700 for "short time" but later accepted to go for LD$600, albeit refusing the offer to go home with him as proposed by the correspondent.
She said: “LD$600 is the last price for short-time. Benson Street is far, I can’t. Let me stay here and keep hustling."
Continuing the investigation, the journalist met another desperate sex worker who identified herself as Meme.
She exhibited every attribute of desperation as the low patronage have constrained and subjected most of the prostitutes.
With a seeming plea in her eyes, she said: "It’s not even 12:00 midnight then you want to carry me home? Let’s just do it here for short time then you pay LD$500.”
Sex workers Craft new strategy
The sex workers have devised other ‘legitimate’ strategies of combining hawking of some items, and at the same time used it to contact and seek door to door services for clients willing to satisfy their aims.
Some items hawk by the sex workers include perfumes, necklace, clothes, wrist watches, prepared food, soft drink, under wears and many other items which enable them contact and solicit clients in return for their services.
Some of the bubbling hotels where their trade usually boomed in the past years are partially deserted as the traffic of clients has also reduced drastically.
And for them to sustain their living, set and take care of their families, they have devised other ingenious ways to survive.
The sex workers said despite the fact that they do not reject any price offer for rounds of sex unlike in the past, only few men still come in to patronize them.
Some sex workers who spoke to our correspondent said they have to combine the two businesses to make end meets as men seem no longer interested in paying for sex.
“Some will even come and will be asking for credit for sex whereas they (sex workers) have some bills to pay especially accommodation daily,” an anonymous worker at a bar said.
Another sex worker told our correspondent that since men hardly come to patronize them, they have to survive and find legitimate solution.
She said virtually all sex workers at Talk of the Town now hawk one ware or another to make extra money to add to the little income they generate through prostitution. She noted that some have been so lucky to have made huge money from hawking and even abandoned hotels and now concentrate on street hawking.
Another worker who simply identified herself as Princess said patrons are no longer coming and they quickly realized they cannot cope relying only on prostitution to make ends meet.
She said they usually leave the hotel in the morning to hawk their items and in the course of doing it they equally solicit patrons for sex in a subtle way.
“We buy and sell and at the same time look for customers."
"We usually create atmosphere for such customers to talk to us and once they do, we easily agree."
"Some of them take us to do it here for short rest and in the process they pay us some extra money as transport,” she said.
She also revealed other ways they attract customers which include attending events such as weddings and other parties, church services where they meet people who may not know they are sex workers.