SEX. NOT EVERYBODY’S DOING IT. Frankly, some people would rather curl up with a good book. Yet sex is everywhere. Since the dawn of advertising, sex has been used to sell everything from entertainment to confectionery. Bizarrely, while people are willing to accept teen pop stars - albeit Christian virgin ones — performing in PVC fetish wear, there's still an unwillingness to acknowledge that sex can be bought as well as used to con consumers out of their hard-earned cash.
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evidence of a growing tolerance on behalf of the police and the public towards brothel and street prostitution.
Yet controversy continues to dog the sex industry in Scotland. When approaching interviewees for this article, I was struck by how hesitant people were about contributing, even anonymously. Many had previously given interviews in good faith, only to find their contributions included in items of the 'Shock! Horror! Sex Scandal Exposé' variety. Ironically, many publications will happily take advertising money from
Scotland's sex industry has been steadily growing over the last twenty years. There is now more access than ever to sex toys, clothes and porn, from shops and on the internet. And, while prostitution remains illegal, there's
saunas, shops, escort agencies and sex hotlines while condemning their ’sleazy' practices from their centre pages. Happily, certain brave souls took the leap of faith for The List. Here are their stories.
’Susan’ is in her 405 and has worked as an escort for four years. Edinburgh born and bred, she began working as a prostitute in Leith’s shore area in the late 19705. At that time, a single parent with two young children, Susan began looking for a way off the streets. ’l’d been trying for years to do something different,’ she says. ’l’d keep stopping working but I wouldn't be able to find a job that paid anything like what I was used to so I'd be down the shore again.’
A chance meeting helped set Susan up in the escort business. 'l bumped into an old friend I hadn’t seen for a while. She'd been doing escorting and recommended it to me. lwasn’t sure what was involved at first but I advertised and haven’t ever regretted changing over.’
Susan now makes a comfortable living from her escort work. We known some of my regular clients for years and most new ones discover me on the internet. Most guys expect sex, but others are more interested in the company. You do get time-wasters phoning up and being cheeky but I’ve also been taken on holiday and had a few marriage offers.’
12 THE “81' 1—15 Feb 2001
@lub manager Tony Cochrane
Tony Cochrane has run Aberdeen’s Private Eyes Gentlemen's Club since its launch in October 1998. The ZSO-capacity club was an instant success and Cochrane feels Scotland's oil crty is the perfect setting for a lapdancing venue. ’Much of our week-night clientele comes from the rigs, though the club attracts mainly local people at the weekends.’ A second, larger club will open in Aberdeen in March. ’It’s been a great experience up here,’ says Cochrane. 'We’ve tried running club nights in Dundee but there just wasn’t the same demand.’
At Private Eyes, punters can pay for a private lapdance or be entertained on fantasy nights in the table dance and executive lounge areas. The girls
will perform in various guises ranging from schoolgirl to army officer. ’From a pool of about 100 girls we employ up to 30 dancers depending on the time of year. The girls come from all over the UK and I think they like working for us because there’s no hassle; it’s all good, harmless fun.’
The club is also proud of its collection of kitsch celebrity memorabilia including Mel B's tongue stud and the panties Madonna wore in Body Of Evidence, no doubt snatched during her recent Highland fling.
Ruth Morgan-Thomas, Scot-Pep Director
The Scottish Prostitutes Education Project was established eleven years ago as an HIV/AIDS health promotion. The organisation continues to be run with a self-help ethos and has expanded its services to include a needle exchange, outreach clinic and legal advisory service. Volunteers also offer advice to current and former prostitutes.