Ademola Olonilua and Toluwalope Kareem
Technology is the driver of convenience; so easy has life become ever since the emergence of technology and its continual improvement that virtually anything can be purchased online ranging from food, clothes, electronics, and even houses, by just a tap on any internet connected device.
In fact, in recent times, the advent of social media has paved the way for individuals in Nigeria to find a way around the problem of unemployment as they have begun to use various platforms for business purposes to showcase their goods, talents and skills which in turn churns in some income to them.
Commercial sex workers are not left out as they have grabbed such opportunity to ply their trade online. The tech savvy among them have ditched their old fashioned modus operandi of hanging by the road side at red light districts in a city like Lagos.
Of course while some are still glued to remain by road side waiting for patrons, some have decided to take their business to the social media which they believe is more classy, profitable and safe.
These ladies make use of some social media platforms to attract clients but in coded forms.
They have their terms and condition which you either accept or decline. On their platforms, they make use of raunchy pictures and lascivious languages to advertise themselves to the public and prospective customers.
For instance, during a chat with Saturday Punch over some bottles of alcoholic beverages, a fashion designer who identified himself simply as Abimbola, explained how he had engaged with at least three commercial sex workers who he met on a mobile application which name is similar to the popular Instagram.
He explained that ever since his five-year relationship ended in 2017, he drowned himself in work and anytime he felt horny, he would rather pitch his tent with a commercial sex worker.
Abimbola explained that initially, he would drive down to Allen Avenue to ‘select’ any lady he wanted for the night but he stopped ever since his friend introduced him to the mobile application.
He said, “After my last relationship ended, I decided to face my business squarely but bodi no be firewood. So sometimes when I have to blow off steam, I drive down to Allen to pick a girl for the night. I did that for a while before a friend of mine told me of a mobile application whereby I can literally order for a girl online. We would do all the negotiations online; I would tell her all I want from her. If she agrees, she comes to my house and we have sex. Ever since I was introduced to the app, I never went back to Allen.”
The fashion designer explained that the mobile application has saved him time and fuel for his car that would convey him to Allen. “I know I am a workaholic, so I really do not have time for frivolities. The reason I subscribe to the application till date is because if I am horny during the daytime, I don’t need to wait till nightfall neither do I need to stress myself and drive down to Allen. All I need do is switch on my mobile data, browse through the girls in the neighbourhood, we negotiate and once one agrees to my terms, I continue with my work till she comes over to my house. It is so convenient. I would probably delete the application once I find the right woman for me but till then, it is helping me to ‘ease tension,’” he said.
Aside from the application known to Abimbola, there are other mobile applications that Nigerian commercial sex workers are leveraging on to parade their craft. Saturday Punch findings showed that most of these applications are meant to be messaging apps but these ladies have found a way to make them money-spinning applications.
Kazeem Danjuma, a farmer told Saturday Punch that he has an application on his phone which he visits anytime he is horny and once he logs onto the application, he is good ‘to go’. He noted that he stumbled on the application and thought it was a normal messaging app till the ladies he met began asking him this particular question, ‘hook up?’ ‘short time or long?’
He said that initially he did not understand and the ladies were quick to quit the conversation once they noticed that he did not understand them till one day he decided to play along.
“To be honest, I was trying to download another application but I was not concentrating so I downloaded this messaging application. I did not want to delete it because I felt it would be a waste of data, so I logged in through my Facebook account and I started chatting with the girls. I noticed that whenever I was trying to make a decent conversation, they kept asking me if I wanted a short time or long time. Initially, I did not understand but one day I decided to play along. After I told the girl I wanted short time, she told me her price range and that was when it was clear to me that she was a commercial sex worker. I went through her pictures and they were all raunchy, they turned me on and I invited her over. It was one of the most effortless sex I had in my life. Since then, I have kept the application even though I have changed my phones several times.”
He opened up that he had met at least four girls on the application.
During an interaction with a student of a federal university who simply prefers to be addressed as Adejumo, when the subject was brought up, he simply laughed and said that there was a mobile application where the girls are ‘bad oo.’
He noted that as students, they were in the know of most of these applications and further hinted that some of the girls who advertise their crafts on these apps are students as well.
Adejumo also revealed ways to know if girls on the mobile applications are ‘normal girls’ or ‘runs girls’.
He said, “Bros, it is quite easy to differentiate the ‘runs girls’ from the normal girls looking for love. I am aware of all the mobile applications you mentioned but it is only ‘sure boys’ that know of them. As students, we know about them and to tell you the truth, some of our female counterparts are on these mobile applications looking for quick money. I have met two girls from my school on the site.
“I am certain that if you log on to any of them, you would see on the girl’s bio, ‘hook up only’, it is a term that shows that she is a commercial sex worker. Also, from experience, if you see bios like, ‘go straight to the point, I am not here for long talk’, ‘don’t ask me JAMB questions, say what you want’, ‘I am a masseuse and I can offer happy hour,’ bios like this tend to show that the lady is a commercial sex worker.”
Saturday Punch findings show that these ladies also use popular social media applications like Facebook and they tend to be more daring based on their profile names.
For instance, as seen on Facebook, a young lady’s profile name is, ‘Olosho Egbeda’, which literally means, Egbeda prostitute in English. Her Facebook bio further says, “Olosho olobo codeine ni mi… that all I want … u have it… oya let’s f**k ourselves to death (sic).”
Another young lady created a profile on Facebook with the name Nofisat Olobo Icloud and her bio states, ‘I am a real olosho(commercial sex worker). I can do 3sum with just 5k(sic).”
A lady who seems to be in her early 20s also created a Facebook profile with the name, Obo Langido and in her bio, she explicitly stated, “I train all my life to become a porn star.” For the Facebook user, Obo Panseke, she stated on her bio, “I owe no guy a tight pussy. He who can’t swim should drown.”
In order to verify Abimbola, Danjuma and Adejumo’s claims, Saturday Punch downloaded the applications and was able to engage some of these ladies.
As seen on her social platform, the beautiful young lady who seemed to be in her twenties had publicly advertised herself, as she wrote: “hookups only, only serious persons should message”.
The lady had her beautiful and titillating pictures splashed all over her page with the aim of attracting patrons like sugar attracts ants. One of our correspondents reached out to her pretending to be fully interested and a conversation ensued.
“Whatever would go on between us is strictly professional and no strings attached,” she said.
In the conversation, issues like price, the location and the activities that would take place between them were addressed.
She also suggested a threesome to our correspondent which she referred to as a special package that would cost more.
She was charging N30,000 for a night which included her transportation, but if the correspondent was going to be sorting out her transportation, the fee would be N20,000 for a night.
Also, another lady who introduced herself as Blessing met with one of our correspondents at a pub and during the conversation, she made it known that she had a day job but she was a commercial sex worker by the side.
“I actually work for a spa and often times after massaging my customers, a few of them ask for happy hour and if the price is right, I oblige them. In order to augment what I make, I decided to use the mobile app as another way to meet new patrons. I prefer the mobile application because it seems classy, safe and stress-free. Most of my clients are young men who just want to blow off steam after a long day. The few ones I like, I actually massage their body before we get down to business,” she said.
She noted that she has never been one to stand by the roadside seeking patrons and that her price range was N5,000 for ‘short time’ while she accepted to spend the night for N10,000
Another young lady who identified herself as Dami told Saturday Punch during a chat she just completed her Ordinary National Diploma in a popular Nigerian polytechnic and instead of staying home idle, she felt she could make money through this venture.
Dami said, “I recently completed my OND and while I was staying at home bored, my friend told me about the application. I have met several guys on it but I only indulge fine boys. If I go through your picture and I like you, then I would attend to you but if you are not fine, I would ignore you,” she said.
Sharon opened up to Saturday Punch that she used to be a regular face at Allen Avenue till a friend introduced her to the mobile application and ever since, she never returned to Allen.
She explained that while she was still a roadside commercial sex worker, she was almost kidnapped and on several occasions, she had been humiliated and ridiculed by customers who refused to pay after she had ‘serviced’ them. But everything is now history thanks to the various mobile applications she is registered to.
The young lady further said that the mobile application had eliminated the stress and risks of hanging by the roadside. “I used to stand by the roadside around Allen and GRA Ikeja but for about two years that I did that, it was God that saved me. There was a time I was almost kidnapped but I jumped out of a moving vehicle to save myself. I was in the hospital for weeks and I had to get a pimp to protect me. He was collecting half of what I made which was ridiculous to me.
“There were also times that I would get insulted and humiliated by a customer who would not want to pay me after he had been serviced but all that is history now as I am ‘online’. Also, the mobile application I use connects me to men within my vicinity, so it makes the work easier. My price actually depends on the negotiation skills of the potential patron,” she said.
Sharon further revealed that aside physical sex, she offered virtual sex to clients who did not have enough money for physical sex. “There are some men who do not have enough money but they want to relieve some stress so I engage in virtual sex with them. After negotiation and I have received a credit alert, I do a video call with them; we get naked and masturbate till they are relieved. The ones that are too shy just ask for my nude pictures and I oblige them,” she said.
Speaking on the trend, a sociologist, Monday Ashibogwu, stated that the trend simply means that the commercial sex workers are moving with the times. “As sociologists, it is not in our place to condemn or commend such issues but we can comment about it. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world and it also follows consumption. It is a determinant of consumption pattern. When you do a business, you look for where your customers are and you identify them. If you take this sense of direction, you would understand that today, businesses are moving online. If commercial sex workers decide to stop staying on the road and go on the internet to attract patrons, they are not out of order. It just shows that like every other business minded persons, they are moving with times. They know where to find their customers because for them, it is a business. For those who want to justify it as a vice, it is up to them but the trend just shows that they are moving with times,” Ashibogwu. added.