Everywhere – from clubs in town centres to industrial estates, to lonely country roads to roadside bars, the last often recognisable by gigantic neon signs of champagne bottles or shapely females, flashing away in the darkness.This may sound like exaggeration,but prostitution is so popular (and socially accepted) in Spain that a United Nations study reports that 39 per cent of all Spanish men have used a prostitute’s services at least once. To meet this vast demand, an estimated 300,000 prostitutes are working in Spain. A Spanish Health Ministry survey in 2009 put the percentage of one-time prostitute users at 32 per cent: lower than the UN figure, perhaps, but far higher than the 14 per cent in liberal-minded Holland, or in Britain, where the figure is reported to oscillate between 5 and 10 per cent. And that was just those men willing to admit it.
There is no single reason, though, why prostitution should be so popular in Spain.
The Spanish economy may be dangerously close to meltdown this week but one area at least – prostitution – appears to be doing very nicely…
People say that girls working in a brothel are not forced, it’s a fully assumed choice for some of them. For others, it can be a choice they made to live more comfortably. But as long as there are no PIMPS or so, they are not in danger. And they are not forced to stay working in there, if they want to leave they’re free to at anytime. I only visit one brothel in Barcelona, and I talked a lot with one escort, she told me it was their choice, they were not forced. The place was cleaner and more secure than street prostitutes.