Weakening demand and an influx of hard up prostitutes from across Europe has impacted prices and job prospects for the increasingly idle sex workers plying their trade in Norway.
Sex workers touting services from camper vans, hotel rooms and private flats are feeling the pinch and complain that there are too many women working in the Norwegian market.
“I have not worked in Norway long, but in the past week there have not been many customers,” said a 22-year-old French woman to the Dagbladet daily, adding, “The prices for sex services are being dumped and the market is very bad.”
The Norwegian sex market is described as “mobile” with the women of organized “escort agencies” roaming the length and breadth of the country in search of customers.
Despite the recent lull in the market, police say those selling sex still earn far more than they would in the economically depressed southern Europe.
“We noticed a distinct increase after the last financial crisis and several factors suggest we’re seeing the same pattern now,” said Harald Bøhler, leader of Oslo Police’s STOP Group combating sex trafficking and human smuggling.
A veteran Norwegian, who described herself as an “escort operating in the luxury market”, said “all the girls from abroad” have led to her contemplating dropping her rate. A Philippine woman meanwhile offered another explanation for the decline in customer numbers, claiming that police “were hunting” them.
With police methods starting to have effect, a Romanian woman said she was dropping the trade and taking Norwegian lessons.
“Maybe there’s a normal job out there,” she said.