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To not know whether I find this just plain vile or a better alternative....

(52 Posts)
BigFatLeaf Mon 23-Sep-13 09:54:01

Sensitive content warning.

I do a lot of volunteer work, mostly with drug addicts who are predominantly young, homeless women involved in prostitution. In one of my counselling sessions the other day one of the girls (aged 21) confessed to me that a lot of the girls who she works with, including herself often lie about their age to "clients" and say they are 14 it 15 because they get more money. I was really, really shocked by this as whilst I know there is a demand for that kind of revolting thing I didn't realise it was prevalent enough to warrant its own warped form of special marketing!

She also told me that they often put on an act of being very naive, scared, afraid and that they've been forced into it, because apparently this is what the clients want. The "pimps" apparently often actively encourage this and the girls are told to "look young" so they get away with it.

What sickens me is that surely it is not a criminal offence to have sex with someone who is over 18 even if you think they are younger?

JCDenton Mon 23-Sep-13 10:00:38

It must be a crime to look for underage girls in this way even if the woman is an adult. Conspiracy to have sex with a minor is certainly a thing so I can't imagine that this is far different.

Hopefully someone who knows law can help with this, OP.

dysfunctionallynormal Mon 23-Sep-13 19:21:16

Unfortunately the kind of men who kerb crawl generally have these predilections. It's seen as a good marketing strategy by the pimps and prostitutes.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 19:26:39

Oh, stuff like this really turns my stomach. It's disgusting, some of the stuff in you OP has actually made me feel sick.

The men are breaking the law anyway by having sex with these girls or money.

Isildur Mon 23-Sep-13 19:27:01

I think you are probably pretty naive if this is something you were genuinely unaware of.

I'd have thought that a decent proportion of men paying for sex are looking for 'younger girls'.

Maybe it's just that I'm old enough to remember the phone boxes full of prostitutes cards advertising their specialisms.

Sparklymommy Mon 23-Sep-13 19:41:59

This is (sadly) not news to me. It's quite well known that girls pretend to be younger than they actually are because that is what men who are paying for it are looking for.

I worry that if this is a shock to you then you may be in the wrong job. You need to be almost unshockable.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 19:44:51

I think you are probably pretty naive if this is something you were genuinely unaware of

I must be naive, it's really not something I would want to know too much about either.

mysteryfairy Mon 23-Sep-13 19:46:39

I don't think prostitution or paying for sex is illegal in the uk as stated by PrincessFlirtyPants though both soliciting in public and kerb crawling supposedly are. I hope a lot of these clients know it is a fantasy and fulfil it in a way which whilst pretty grim means children are actually kept safe from harm. I think you have to hope this as no other explanation is really bearable.

MyChildhoodInACottage Mon 23-Sep-13 19:47:32

It makes complete sense, it means the clients are a lot nicer usually as they feel sorry for you and protective. Much more effective than acting like a hard faced seen-it-all-before woman.

MyChildhoodInACottage Mon 23-Sep-13 19:47:55

paying for sex is illegal

Catsize Mon 23-Sep-13 19:50:21

Interesting. Not sure that it could even be an 'attempt' offence, as you cannot attempt the impossible (ie girl is actually over 16). Grim stuff though. Will have a think about it.

TallulahBetty Mon 23-Sep-13 19:50:29

Paying for sex is NOT illegal. Look it up. It's the stuff that goes with it (soliciting, kerb crawling, running a brothel) that is illegal.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 19:51:09

No, I believe I was wrong and mysteryfairy is right. I thinki do recall a programme about this last year...

www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/feb/22/suffolkmurders.ukcrime5

MyChildhoodInACottage Mon 23-Sep-13 19:52:40

Tallulah, paying for sex is, that's why escort agencies say the girls are being paid for their time only smile unless it has very recently changed

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 19:53:46

It would be the escort agency in that example who were breaking the law though.

TallulahBetty Mon 23-Sep-13 19:55:13

Paying for, or selling, sex is legal. Everything else isn't.

GatoradeMeBitch Mon 23-Sep-13 19:58:52

Back in the days when I used to watch porn with my BF there would be absolute delight in the comment sections when viewers suspected that an underaged girl had slipped past the censors.

A man I knew once tried to explain why in his opinion men are 'naturally' attracted to underage girls, you can probably guess.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 20:01:10

No, again I must be being naive, but why would a man be 'naturally' attracted to underage girls?!

WMittens Mon 23-Sep-13 20:21:29

A man I knew once tried to explain why in his opinion men are 'naturally' attracted to underage girls

I can't even begin to imagine.

MyChildhoodInACottage, what TallulahBetty posted is correct.

GatoradeMeBitch Mon 23-Sep-13 20:22:07

His rationale was that women want partners with large genitals, men want partners with small tight genitals - and whose are smallest and tightest?.. It's gross.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 20:35:26

Oh FFS. angry That is absolutely repulsive. I'm sorry, but that wouldn't have even entered my mind! Who are the fuck are these men?!

WMittens Mon 23-Sep-13 20:38:05

Not just gross but also complete bullshit.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 23-Sep-13 20:41:09

I am surprised you are shocked about this given that you know they work in the sex industry. saying that it has bought up something for you do you not have supervision or counselling yourself?

littlewhitebag Mon 23-Sep-13 20:45:50

Of course it happens and of course it is not bullshit. Are you all blind to the recurring news articles about men being prosecuted for actually seeking out, and having sex with, young girls. The prostitutes have worked out how to attract these men. It is win-win. The prostitute gets a client who will pay for this and the man gets the 'experience' of sex with a young girl. I suspect that most of these men are aware the prostitutes are not actually young girls but are happy with the pretence.

Smoorikins Mon 23-Sep-13 20:47:10

Paying for sex isn't illegal in the UK unless the laws have changed recently (last six years or so) Men can be done for kerb crawling only, unless the prostitute is underage or trafficked, IIRC.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 20:48:18

The prostitute gets a client who will pay for this and the man gets the 'experience' of sex with a young girl. I suspect that most of these men are aware the prostitutes are not actually young girls but are happy with the pretence

But is this enough? Won't they move onto the 'real thing' after practising with these girls?

Smoorikins Mon 23-Sep-13 20:49:24

In some ways I think this is a good thing. I'd far rather a guy have sex with a 21 yo pretending to be 14 and scared, than a genuine scared 14 yo.

But the 'men' deserve to be castrated.

Chibbs Mon 23-Sep-13 20:54:23

.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 23-Sep-13 20:58:02

Paying for sex and having sex for money is legal.

Advertising the service,kerb crawling,soliciting,a brothel, living off immoral earnings is not

Afair (been a long time since I was a sex worker leasion officer) a brothel is any property with a sex worker and any other female no matter the age also on the property,there always also used to be laws preventing using communication networks as well

FreudiansSlipper Mon 23-Sep-13 21:01:06

but it is a fantasy

the fact a man is paying a woman to have sex is very wrong that he is playing out a fantasy makes no difference. it is not stopping him acting out his fantasy

i am sure she is disgusted as you are but you have to be careful of transferring those feelings do you get support at your work?

Helpyourself Mon 23-Sep-13 21:01:36

Bring this up at your next supervision, not on an open forum. You do have clinical supervision don't you? hmm

LalyRawr Mon 23-Sep-13 21:02:33

I remember a case similar to this.

It boiled down to intention. It was the man's intention to have sex with an underage girl and as she said she was 15 a reasonable man would assume that he was, in fact, having sex with an underage girl.

The fact that she was 18 and not 15 was actually irrelevant.

He was convicted on the basis of his intention and assumption (thinking he was having sex with a minor), not the actual actions (having sex).

LalyRawr Mon 23-Sep-13 21:03:57

Oh, but in this case, legally, if they know she is older and only pretending, then technically they have done nothing wrong (as long as they haven't curb crawled etc).

mayorquimby Mon 23-Sep-13 21:20:36

Any idea what the case was called?

Not saying your wrong but as I've never encountered this in practice I would have assumed that regardless of their intention the actus reus of the crime is lacking so the offence hasn't taken place.
I can understand for inchoate offences I.e. attempted sex with a minor or seeking to procure sex with a minor for Internet predators who are actually chatting to online officers
But to say they've committed the actual offence of sex with a minor when the actus reuse has not actually occurred seems illogical to me.
Interesting though.

maddening Mon 23-Sep-13 21:28:54

isn't under the age of consent classified statutory rape- so by having sex with a woman under the impression that she is a minor it could be statutory rape by proxy?

soliciting sex is illegal anyway - but statutory rape is a greater crime - and while not physically committing does is his intent become part of that? But intent eg with intent to murder is a charge so soliciting sex with intent to commit statutory rape could be similar?

Also - on some news clips a while ago there was a piece on a group pretending to be under age dc on the chat forums catching pedophiles . So this is similar too.

mayorquimby Mon 23-Sep-13 21:32:51

As I say intent to procure sex with a minor etc could be arguable but that's different to being charged with the actual offence which is what I thought the other poster was saying.
If I've interpreted it wrongly I apologise.
Genuinely interested to see a judgment on such a scenario because as I say I've never encountered it and wouldn't have thought the prosecution would hold in the circumstances.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 23-Sep-13 22:27:08

In the uk we do not have statutory rape

cosysocks Brazil Mon 23-Sep-13 23:06:48

Posting the content of a counselling session on an open forum shows a total lack of respect for your client.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 23-Sep-13 23:39:38

That is a very fair point, cosysocks

friday16 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:44:00

He was convicted on the basis of his intention and assumption (thinking he was having sex with a minor), not the actual actions (having sex).

It would be nice to have a citation for that, because it's hard to imagine what they would actually be charged with for such a case to come to court. What were they convicted of?

CharityFunDay Tue 24-Sep-13 03:15:58

"Statutory Rape" is a generic term, used in Common Law jurisdictions, it doesn't actually exist as a discrete offence anywhere.

Surely the 'John' in this situation (procuring sex with someone pretending to be a minor) has the mens rea but there's no actus rea? Both parties are of consenting age.

As far as I'm aware, the Sexual Offences Act (2003) doesn't cover statutory rape where the offence takes place only in the imagination. And perhaps that's a good thing, on the whole.

So: Very distasteful indeed, but not actively illegal.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, just an interested observer.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 24-Sep-13 08:37:56

This doesn't surprise me. The punter can feel like a nice guy, giving that poor girl a break from the constant beatings or something.

And they enjoy the greater sense of power over the poor, helpless frightened girl.

Plus, a young girl is fresher and had fewer partners.

And a young victim type girl isn't as scary as an older, sexually aware woman with a perceived voracious appetite.

Helpless young victims are just more sympathetic and less threatening.

seesensepeople Tue 24-Sep-13 09:11:55

I am concerned about the opening post, not because it outlines a girls lurid tales of a man's fantasy but because there seems to be no evidence of any training or supervision on this volunteer programme:
1. the OP does not seem to recognise any of the manipulation techniques commonly used by drug abusers;
2. the OP says the role involved "counselling" and yet there is none of the expected ethics associated with "proper" counselling - such as confidentiality, respect for the client, refusal to judge the situation, etc;
3. the OP displays a sense of disapproval that seems inappropriate to her role - the word "confessed" is used, was this a confession or a counselling session? there is also the emphasis on "really, really shocked" the term "revolting", etc, etc
4. It is not clear what the purpose of this volunteer work is - we have the target client group clearly described and we know there is some form of "counselling session" but it is unclear what purpose this easily shocked and naive volunteer is serving.

This is not a situation I would be happy about in any volunteer programme I was running.

And, I don't believe the OP has responded to any of the follow up comments.

Having said all that - what is the actual AIBU?

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 24-Sep-13 09:18:28

Please call your volunteer supervisor and explain you are not suitable for the role, they should offer to counsel you out, then never put yourself in a position where people trust you again.

Helpyourself Tue 24-Sep-13 10:02:30

Take note of theist few posts, OP. at the very least ensure you are clinically supervised at work.

livinginwonderland Tue 24-Sep-13 10:23:58

Paying for sex or recieving payment for sex isn't illegal - but you can't kerb crawl or solicit sex.

gigglestar Tue 24-Sep-13 20:03:54

cosysocks: "Posting the content of a counselling session on an open forum shows a total lack of respect for your client"

Really?! I disagree. It is no different (or any less disrespectful) to the rest of us posting-on an open forum-the private goings on in our relationships and families etc. So long as OP does not post anything that would identify them or their client there is nothing wrong in discussing one's experience.

Helpyourself Tue 24-Sep-13 22:25:08

giggle it shows a massive lack of judgement and it also suggests she's not getting the support she needs to do the job.
I work in a similar field, not as a volunteer, and I'm pretty certain I'd be in serious trouble were I to discuss such details- mainly because I'd be not engaging with the support that is vital to do this sort of work.
If you're not adequately supervised OP, you shouldn't be doing this work.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 24-Sep-13 22:33:11

of course it is different

what is discussed between client and counsellor should only be spoken about in supervision, or on the odd occasion you need to contact their gp or make a report for legal reason (highly unlikely) but you would still run this past your supervisor

you do not bring it on to a public forum. the op is struggling with an issue that came up (it happens and often takes you by surprise) you take it to supervision

i reported this thread but mn said it they did not feel it broke their guidelines hmm

festered Thu 26-Sep-13 12:48:53

I am not a prostitute but I do work in an industry that sells sexual fantasy.
All women who do my job have to be over 18 and rules to prove one's age are strict.
However, guys who want a girl to pretend to be underage are very, very high in numbers.
I'm not surprised at all at what the girls you work with are saying.
sad
It's interesting about the law, if a man has sex with a girl he thinks is underage-then he's obviously willing to have sex with a girl that's underage!

FarelyKnuts Australia Thu 26-Sep-13 13:03:09

I agree with cosysocks, helpyourself and freudianslipper... Discussing the details of a counseling session on an open forum shows a shocking lack of respect towards your client and in my job would definitely have you disciplined at the very least.
Supervision is there for a reason.

34DD Thu 26-Sep-13 13:12:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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