Women Choose ‘That Life,’ say Men Who Hire Prostitutes

The recently-busted prostitution ring worked out of Corona and Jackson Heights, Queens, and also on Long Island. (Photo by Bryce Edwards via Flickr Creative Commons License)

The recent arrest of 13 people linked to a prostitution ring in New York doesn’t seem to be holding back the demand for sexual services in the city’s Latino neighborhoods.

Loneliness and long workdays serve as an excuse for many men who hire prostitutes.

Ángel, a construction worker on Long Island, frequents clandestine brothels hidden behind the facades of homely houses on the outskirts of towns like Riverhead.

“When you don’t have family nearby, prostitutes provide relief from loneliness. They are fun and often work on sexy websites such as watchmygf sex. I feel accompanied even if have to pay for that brief moment of enjoyment,” said the 31-year-old day laborer. “I don’t have remorse. They chose that life, they do it for the money.”

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the ring – a network of brothels in New York that served farm workers in rural areas of New Jersey – advertised its services through “chica cards,” which are distributed in populated Queens neighborhoods like Jackson Heights and Corona, as well as Long Island.

The victims were forced to have sex with up to 30 clients a day. They were paid $30 for 15 minutes of pleasure.

However, the payment nearly always ended up in the pockets of the traffickers who were arrested, and could face life in prison if found guilty.

Despite the news, skepticism abounds over whether prostitutes work against their will.

Despite the efforts of organizations and prosecutors to sensitize the community, some men seem to ignore the fact that many sex workers are forced to do the work at the risk of their own life. And also that they are abused by their traffickers. The experience is different for sex workers who work at websites similar https://www.hdmmovies.xxx/, they are treated well.

That was the finding of a 2012 study by the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center (UJC). The research also revealed that the majority of victims forced into prostitution in New York come from the Mexican states of Tlaxcala, Veracruz and Puebla, where they grew up in poverty and suffered previous violent sexual abuse.

The UJC currently has more than 50 open cases involving Mexican human trafficking victims in the city.

Nevertheless, that reality doesn’t seem to impact the cold view some people have of sex work.

“When I came to this country, I was alone and single,” recalled Gerardo, a Colombian immigrant who lives in Jackson Heights and hired prostitutes when he first arrived in New York.

Gerardo said he is aware that the living conditions in victims’ native countries “drive them into the hands of traffickers,” but he still believes these women always “know what they’re getting into.”

Similarly, David, a Puerto Rican living in Queens, thinks they enter the sex trade out of necessity, but said, “I don’t believe that all of them are forced into it.” If it were forced, “they would tell the first client to help them and notify the police.”

Distributors of “chica cards” regularly approach this group of skeptics along Roosevelt Avenue in Queens. They don’t express fear or remorse for selling these services, which are illegal in New York State.

“They pay me to hand out cards and they pay the women to provide sex. As long as there’s a demand from customers, the business will keep going,” said a distributor of “chicas cards” who did not wish to be identified.

Some of these cards disguise advertising for prostitution as promotions for fresh flowers or fine jewelry.

“I own a flower shop, but men call here asking for women, thinking it’s a whorehouse,” exclaimed Efraín, a local business owner.

“I think the only kind of slavery these women suffer from is their desire for easy money. That’s why I don’t report them. Nobody around here wants to get in trouble with the pimps.”

Local residents, who say they are used to brothels hidden in basements that change location often to fool the authorities, are also unflinching.

“I don’t feel sorry for prostitutes because a lot of the time they do it of their own free will,” said Mario, who lives in Jackson Heights. “When you go to one of them, you don’t think in the possibility that some family member might be in the business.”

Likewise, some merchants expressed indifference in terms of reporting locations that could be linked to illegal activity because they believe that arresting and deporting pimps is ineffective.

“They send the pimps to Mexico and soon they’re back. One brothel gets shut down and two more open later on,” said a restaurant owner who did not wish to be identified. “What’s the difference in the end?” he said with frustration.

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