Why College Students are Using ‘Sex-Work’ to Pay Off Student Debt

Tamara Gabbard
4 min readMar 12, 2020


The debt relief Danna

“… Danna was typically a wealthy man, sometimes married, who had the means to support the very large expenses related to a geisha’s traditional training and other costs. This sometimes occurs today as well, but very rarely.” ~ Geisha Wiki

With websites such as ‘Seeking Arrangements’ offering free memberships for “sugar babies” when signing up with a ‘.edu,’ this makes me wonder if the whole system is rigged to feed elaborate sex trade organizations.

Furthermore, as a woman that has worked in the ‘sex trade,’ I can say with confidence that sex work is real work. In contrast, it should be a decision made from an entrepreneurial angle and not shoved in the face of the vulnerable who otherwise would not use sex to fill income gaps.

Nevertheless, since college students are being bombarded with clickbait when searching for financial aid to fund the ever-increasing tuition prices, one can’t help but become suspicious. Is the education system actually involved? Phishing algorithms on educational dot-coms have obviously found a vulnerable demographic to market to.

“Any high school or college kid who searches online for financial aid, college loans, or scholarships, will see ‘Seeking Arrangement’ pop up on her screen. You can’t tiptoe around it: Seeking Arrangement is about middle-aged men hunting for sex with young women who need the money,” said Sarah Faruqui of Northwestern University.

Another reason one would be suspicious? The ever-growing “popularity” of undergraduates going against character because “Gender and sexuality studies professors ram down [their] throats the idea that “sex work,” which is what they call prostitution, is empowering,” said Raphaela Kunze of Brown University.

Generational Geishas

When WWII began, geisha houses, teahouses, and other culturally invested bars had to shut down as the US military moved in. The local prostitutes would use the term” geisha girls” to lure young horny soldiers flooding the streets in, pushing the “Willow World” into factories and other areas for wor— Geisha were not prostitutes.

“gei (芸), which means entertainment, or something that requires a certain skill, esprit and idea. Sha (者) means person or thing.”

In a similar fashion, sex work has changed throughout generations and, although taboo, has become a more approachable conversation. So, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Universities are finding a way to even out their checks and balances off of some generational geisha status that we don’t know about. I mean, it doesn’t seem that far off according to all the broken statistics.

The drive behind rising sex work in University settings can be due to pressures and increasing financial burdens associated with tuition costs, Laura Watson, spokesperson for the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), said in a statement to The Independent in 2018.

“We have found that people are mostly working for everyday needs. But some people are definitely working to pay off the tuition fees,” she added.

New age courtesan in the making, a Maiko in training, learning to be a specialist in their art, the student: These can all be metaphors for the caliber of women selling their bodies to cover their studies.

Furthermore, why wouldn’t rich men with deep pockets with a hard-on for the finer things in life want a more educated version of vulnerability? Someone who didn’t have daddy issues so much as issues that needed fixin’ by a “sugar daddy.”

But don’t just start throwing tomatoes at the dirty old men “seeking arrangements” with sexy undergraduates just yet. The Student Sex Work Project observed that sex work was just as common among male students as well — pointing out ‘Butlers in the Buff’, which offers male strippers to “hen parties” looking for ‘shaft-y’ entertainment. However, the data fails us here as well.

So, Why are University Students Signing on with Escort Agencies?

The term ‘escort’ is more of a glamorization within sex industry terminology, which sounds more settling than ‘prostitute’ and ‘streetwalker.’ Nevertheless, synonyms are used to fluff your writing, and in the thesaurus of life, they all mean the same thing; you make money selling sex.

Conversely, something I caught while doing my investigation on the subject of why University students are signing on with escort agencies is that the majority of articles, studies, and statistics were published between 2016–2018.

What happened to the attention? And, why did US Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, propose an 80% cut in funds that were set aside for the “government agency that combats child sex trafficking” in 2020? He is also the same US official that protected Epstein in 2008 from an investigation on his alleged child sex trafficking ring, 11 years before he didn’t kill himself.

I mean, the fact is, in the US alone, sex trafficking was “estimated to bring in global profits of about $150 billion a year — $99 billion from sexual exploitation, according to the International Labor Organization.” And, although The Fortune shared this statistic in 2019, the information it shares is still broken statistics from 2017 — see why I smell a conspiracy?

But, to answer the question frankly, sex work is lucrative; it’s big business, and when looked from the top, it can be a great way to cover your books. However, it also stems from a place of weakness and is full of dark corners that are being overlooked by societies that worship deities that allow guys in big gold hats and robes to rape little boys.

All can say to that is,



Tamara Gabbard

Writer, Mom, Lover, Journalist, Photographer, Gardener…Mad Woman. TG-Writer.com