From the BBC:
“All I’m asking for is sex in exchange, yeah?”
It’s a Friday evening in central London and I’m sat across the table from a 25-year-old man who is offering to share his east London bedroom with me, rent-free. The catch? I’ll have to have regular sex with him if I want to keep a roof over my head.
He is not the only man offering rent for sex. When I log on to a popular classified adverts website, almost immediately I find dozens of ads offering rooms in exchange for “adult arrangements”.
Isn’t this pretty much a marriage, minus the white dress and expensive ceremony? Oh wait:
“It’ll be fun,” he says. “Trust me.”
Not a marriage, then.
I arrange to meet a number of landlords – and am stunned by the diversity of people I meet. One is just 24 years old, another is offering up his daughter’s bedroom now that she’s at university, and a third says I can stay in a log cabin he built in his back garden – if I’m willing to have sex with him in return. Most of the landlords I meet live alone, but one says he has tenants, and then there’s the guy who lives in a London house share who wants to tell his housemates I’m his girlfriend.
Man provides woman with basic material needs in return for sex. A Pulizter beckons.
The 24-year-old landlord, who I meet in Scotland, says he’s looking for “sex every second day or something” and tells me he is “taking the human aspect out” of sex. “I’m treating it as a business transaction,” he says.
Millenials are so bone idle even Tinder is too much effort.
I’ve portrayed myself to these men as a vulnerable young woman who is struggling financially and has nowhere to go. I’m struck by how nonchalant these landlords appear while asking me to sleep with them in order to keep a roof over my head. They don’t seem to consider how I might be affected by what they’re asking of me.
Why should they? Firstly, you’re a complete stranger selling them a sob-story. Secondly, you can always say no. Thirdly, whatever happened to strong, independent women taking on the world as it is?
In fact, most of the landlords don’t seem to feel they’re doing anything wrong – but Rent For Sex adverts could be illegal. Offering a room in a house in exchange for sex might be classified as incitement into prostitution, which carries a prison sentence of up to seven years in England and Wales.
This assumes any woman accepting accommodation in return for sex is a prostitute. Or, presumably, any woman entering into a mutually beneficial arrangement where she gets material comforts and the man gets sex. We’re back to marriage again, aren’t we?
In fact, when I wrote to the landlords after our meetings to reveal the investigation and ask for their response, only two replied. One said he was looking for a consensual sexual agreement and had done nothing wrong…
A reasonable answer, I think.
But the reality is that the people responding to these adverts are likely to be broke, vulnerable and have nowhere else to go.
So they expect to be accommodated for free by a complete stranger? And supposing some are quite happy to put out in return for three squares a day and a warm bed, even if it is in a log cabin out the back? What business is it of a middle-class SJW? Who made her matron?
I met a young woman who had entered a ‘Rent For Sex’ arrangement when she was 20.
And I wrote an entire book about a young woman who entered a “Passport for Sex” arrangement when she was 21. It’s a handy route to US citizenship, apparently. There’s even a TV show based around the same premise. This isn’t something new.
She didn’t realise what the arrangement was until she moved into the property and realised she’d be sharing a bed with the landlord. She told him she didn’t want to sleep with him, but he would consistently try to touch her. “He didn’t force himself on me, so I am grateful for that.”
She didn’t go to the property during the day and ask “Where’s my room?”
She was homeless before meeting him, and stayed there a long time despite the harassment for fear of becoming homeless again.
Again, what did she expect? Free accommodation?
When I asked the landlord about it, he said he believed the fact she had stayed meant she was not unhappy. He claimed he never asked for or had sexual intercourse with her.
This seems broadly consistent with the girl’s account, does it not? He sounds less like a sexual predator than some sad, lonely old bastard who thought doing a homeless stray a favour would mean she’d sleep with him. Other than pathetically pawing her in the night, he doesn’t seem to have done her much harm.
I confronted a middle-aged landlord who was offering a Rent For Sex arrangement at the Newcastle flat he lives in, alone. Initially, he stormed out of the café where we’d met, but he eventually agreed to talk. He told me he was looking for “companionship”, saying, “it wasn’t just about the sex”.
So the guy is looking for a girlfriend, albeit going about it in a cack-handed way probably because he’s desperate. Is this so bad?
He told me he “didn’t know he was doing anything wrong”. When we explained that a woman staying with him might have felt obliged to have sex, even if she didn’t want to, in order to avoid homelessness, he said he understood that this is a grey area for consent.
Apparently it’s now wrong to do anything for a woman that might make them feel obliged to have sex, even if she’s not in the mood? Married men are in more trouble than I thought.
The landlords I met did not seem to grasp that what they are doing is wrong.
Well, yes. Not everyone shares the values of a chippy middle-class feminist. Sure, some of these men sound like scumbags or weirdos, but you can’t expect the entire world to be handing out free accommodation to waifs who’ve fallen on hard times.
“In our society, it seems acceptable for people to wield their power over the vulnerable in order to get what they want, no questions asked,” explains Ellen Moran of Acorn, a tenants union and anti-poverty group.
Because attractive young women never wield power over men in order to get what they want. Yes, it’s always the men doing the exploiting, isn’t it?
“That power is entrenched and such actions are ignored by law enforcers.”
This woman wants the police to monitor consensual sexual relations.
Her organisation is now campaigning for a change in legislation to make Rent for Sex specifically illegal – possibly under modern slavery laws – so that landlords can be prosecuted.
There are going to be a lot of men in prison if providing accommodation in return for occasional sex becomes a criminal offence. And will women who enter into any such arrangement be charged with prostitution?
Sometimes, though, this happens because people are alienated in their society to such an extent that they crave physical affection without knowing considerate ways to get it. Sometimes it is a mixture of those two things.”
So sad, lonely bastards offer homeless women a roof and a hot shower in return for companionship and, possibly, sex. Unless there is assault or rape going on, what the hell is the problem here? Any man entering into such an arrangement is likely to end up with a far bigger headache than the woman.
“The authorities need to publicly recognise that it is a crime and act on that by prosecuting in order to dissuade perpetrators,” says Moran.
“We need real change in order to solve this problem.”
And here we are, back to the morality of modern feminism: women should utilise their sexual freedoms for any purpose and without restraint, but men should be prosecuted just for trying to exercise their own.