The Rise of Student Sex Workers

With rising living costs and tuition fees affecting students across the country, this may explain why more and more students are turning to sex work to fill the gap in their finances.

From prostitution to chat lines and dominatrix work to stripping, an increasing number of students are looking to the sex industry to provide lucrative, flexible jobs that they can fit around their studies.

How many students work in the sex industry?

Recent research from the University of Swansea has revealed that as many as one in 20 university students has turned to sex work to secure extra income during their studies. Other research has put the number as high as one in 10.


The research shows that it’s not just students from poorer backgrounds who are using sex work to pay their living expenses, with around 10% of medical students thought to be working in the industry.

However as a lot of students may be reluctant to admit they work in the sex industry, the true figure may be much higher.

Why are more students working in the sex industry?

The main reason that students are turning to sex work to earn money is that it offers them a way to earn tax free cash quickly.

Easy to fit around lectures and more lucrative than bar work or retail, sex work is quickly becoming a realistic alternative for cash strapped students. And with rent and tuition fees higher now than ever, this trend seems set to continue.

The increase in the amount of online sex work available has also contributed to the number of students working in the industry. Those who would never have considered working on a street corner feel safer finding clients or perform shows online.

In fact, web cam shows, sex chat lines, online sales of ‘used’ underwear and specially ordered photos make up a large part of the work students undertake, with few actually meeting clients in person.

What support is available for students in the sex industry?

Whether you’re a student, a single mum or you’re simply trying to pay your way, the same support is available for everyone working in the sex industry.

Organisations like Doorway Women’s Services are specifically aimed towards helping to support women working in the industry, helping them to stay safe, find out about local resources and access the support they need.

If you’re looking for help, support or information, check out the rest of the Doorway Women’s Services website or get in touch with a member of the team to find out more.