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French landlords demand sex for rent from cash-strapped students

By Chris V. Thangham     May 20, 2008 in Crime
Landlords in Paris are willing to negotiate with student renters provided they offer sex in exchange. Some cash-strapped students are taking up this offer.
There is a severe housing crisis in France and property prices in Paris have increased tremendously, making it impossible for many to rent or own the properties. As a result, there is a surge in the “sex-as-rent” phenomenon in France.
Students who come to Paris are the most to suffer from such high housing prices and they are prime targets for the exploiting landlords.
One property in Paris which measures 10.2 square meters (109 square feet) rents for .€600 a month according to the “De Particulier a Particulier” weekly rental magazine.
A militant housing rights pressure group calls itself Jeudi Noir - Black Thursday. Thursday is the day in which all these rental magazines provides the new rental housing information. The group is fighting for a fair housing policy for students.
Leila Chaibi from Jeudi Noir told AFP:
It’s terrible that we have to spend more than half or even three quarters of our income for accommodation – the most basic need. What’s worse is that now students are having to resort to paying with their bodies. How far is this going to go?
In order to meet the high costs, the students resort to prostitution and nearly 40,000 students are involved in prostitution according to some estimates.
One of them, Laura D. was a modern languages student. She had a part-time job in telesales, but the income was not enough to justify her rental costs and other expenses. She tried to find other suitable jobs but ended up in prostitution when she was 18 years old.
Laura D., told AFP:
Since the man has the money, he’s in a dominant position, so he keeps pushing the boundaries and trying to abuse the initial agreement. You can find yourself being subjected to horrible and violent things.
Laura D. has written a book about her experiences, ‘Mes Chers Etudes’ (‘My Dear Studies’).
In the book, she narrated an incident when she asked a client for a laptop as payment. He subjected her to a sadistic and violent sex game.
No one in her family or friends knows about her prostitution. She said she wrote this book to raise awareness about this crisis. She wants to prevent other students from falling into the trap.
If the government subsidizes education and provides affordable places to live during education, we won’t see this problem. Instead of concentrating on just the studies, the students have to worry about the living conditions.
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