Does the UK Spend £5.3 Million a Year on Sex?

Here at Escort England we know that the sex industry is booming. We have more escorts than ever on our pages, and for that to be the case, business must be going well making it worth their while. Still, even we were shocked at the figure that the government say we spent on sex annually in a recent study.

Woman in skimpy black clothing sat on red rug

Anyone who hasn’t been on mars will know that the UK has to pay an extra £1.7 Billion to the European Union in the near future (something that Prime Minister David Cameron is at this point, refusing to do) A lot of this extra cash is because it is believed that the sex industry ads £5.3 billion to the country’s GDP.

Now some will say that if prostitution is in a legal grey area and isn’t taxed, then how can it contribute to gross domestic product? Well, money is money, and if it is being earned, it has to be accounted for.

A Number Of Questions

Now moving off the economics (I got an A at A-Level by the way) this did get us thinking two things. Firstly, where the hell did they get their figures from? Secondly, are they accurate?

Let us answer the first question. The Office of National statistics say the facts are as follows.

Number of prostitutes in UK: 61,000

Average cost per visit: £67

Clients per prostitute per week: 25

Number of weeks worked per year: 52

Multiply these and you get £5.3 billion at 2009 prices, which is around £5.7 billion now.

Topless blond woman on old fashioned telephone

This all comes from a study in Holland which says how often a prostitute works and how much they charge. This information has been transferred to Britain.

Now the information had to come from somewhere. Holland has a very liberal view on the sex industry so information will obviously be more readily available than it would be over here. However, this is where we have to ask, are these figures accurate?

Well let’s just say the UK has a very different sex work set up to Holland. We have a variation of street-walkers, escorts, brothel works and independent who work out of a set location. The information from Holland isn’t directly transferable.

These statistics are saying that each and every sex worker sees 1,250 clients a year? Really? That is a lot of sex!

The ONS assumes that there are 75m visits a year. Let’s say 60m are from locals rather than foreign visitors, which is more than a million a week. There are around 20m men aged between 18 and 65 in the UK, so this would mean that on average each of them buys sex three times a year.

In fact the proportion who pay for sex each year will probably be less than 2%, which means that less than 400,000 men are taking up more than a million visits each week. When you think of it, that’s around once every three days for each of the 400,000. That seems a lot doesn’t it? To add a bit of weight to our scepticism. a study of men in Scotland who pay for sex found an average of only five partners in a year.

Man kisses woman's breasts

Not Adding Up

All this adding up says a prostitute earns about £100,000 a year. Are the escorts REALLY doing that well? Even if a few are, I can’t see them all having that much cash.

Also, these figures are saying that an escort in Cornwall will make as much money and be as popular as a London escort. I think we know that isn’t going to be true, don’t we?

Now we are not doubting that the sex industry is making a lot of cash. Hey, we have never understood why it hasn’t been legalised and tax taken from it which can go to things like hospitals and council services. Still, something so important deserves a bit more thorough analysis.

So come on escorts and clients. How many people do each of you see every year? No cash figures obviously, but I would love to see if any of these ‘meeting figures’ are anywhere near true.

Let us know in the comments section below or in the Escort England forum.

Martin Ward
Follow me

Martin Ward

Martin Ward is a well respected editor and writer with over five years experience in the adult industry. After stints in the Escort Advertising call centre and on the escort forum, he moved into the site editor position around three years ago.

Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.

When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
Martin Ward
Follow me

Please log in here to leave a comment.