What does it really mean to be homeless? How does it feel being out there in the biting cold with pangs of uncertainty in your stomach? That is already tough enough, but when you are a woman, it’s even worse. Habitually homeless women have to constantly find ‘graceful exits’ which means running the risk of the lesser evil aka sex for a home. With no money to pay for private accommodation, living in the streets means these women are vulnerable to sexual exploitation as men take advantage of their situation to provide accommodation for them. The Porn Dude looks at how homeless women are using sex as the only means to survive.
Sex for accommodation
There are not many survival options for homeless people. Many men believe that homeless women, by virtue of their precarious situation, are willing and open to sex in exchange for a place to sleep be it for a night or a longer period. The narrative on the streets is a bit different though.
According to one homeless woman on the streets of Melbourne, Australia, people usually take advantage of their situation in the belief that they would do anything for accommodation. The woman, only identified as Hayley said: ‘The bad part about being homeless is that people think they can take advantage of you because you’re going to do anything ’cause you’re homeless.’ Especially guys think, ‘Yeah, she’s out there on the streets, she’ll fuck me, she’ll do me.’ The way they think [of you] – as just a piece of meat.
That the situation is not unique to Melbourne would be a fair assumption.
Most of the times, these women are forced to seek accommodation from men they wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole under normal circumstances. Their situation demands so. It is one of the very few options of escaping the violence that rocks the streets. Some are even forced to stay longer in sexual relationships for fear of going back to the streets.
One woman was forced to live with a man for over 6 months because he was providing her with accommodation and financial support. She said: ‘I was very scared of leaving… ’cause I’d lose my house… I’d lose that. I’d lose the money… It was just because I’d seen the pretty side of things. That’s all it was.’
You only need to look at the ‘sex for rent’ adverts in sites like Craigslist to see how far people are willing to go to score a homeless woman. These ads are punctuated by men seeking to provide accommodation for women in exchange for “naughty sexual favors.” These kinds of ads are increasingly common with some being downright explicit. One thing is common though; they all seem to involve older men.
One reads: “Wifi and bills free to a girl for in exchange for an arrangement (pets and smoking permitted). I’m not asking for sex in exchange but would like to arrange something that we are both comfortable with.”
Others go straight to the point: “I have a very high sex drive. Looking for similar”
Dating apps and social media platforms are also used by sexual ‘predators’ looking for cheap pussy in the name of homeless women. They often offer free accommodation but apparently with a few strings attached.
To survive, these women are forced to get into difficult relationships, some that defy the odds. They have to couple up to stay off the streets in their search for safety. The best they can really hope for is stay away from danger. Sometimes they lose close friends, others choose jail or worse still, get into relationships that are worse than lockdown.
There is this misconception that homelessness is a one-off thing. Well, it is not. It is like a vicious cycle, and every time you try to get out, you are pulled right down. It is even worse when the houses they seek refuge are as dangerous as the streets themselves.
Another homeless woman, only identified as Jessica sums the situation quite well: ‘If a guy offers you a lift or a place to sleep, they’re not being nice. They’re just doing it because they want to have sex with you and they can see that you’re vulnerable… It’d be alright for a little while. Then when it came to bedtime, or close to bedtime, I’d start getting touched and get an icky feeling that something’s wrong. … I said ‘no’ but still they didn’t respect it, so I just had to put up with it.’
The poorly defined boundaries for survival sex make it harder for these women to be protected which in turn makes their situation even more precarious. This might sound overly pessimistic, but the situation doesn’t seem like changing anytime soon.
Well, bluntly survival sex is not similar to sex work. Sex work involves two willing parties who exchange sex for money. Survival sex is apparently a lot more complicated. Everyone longs for a place to call their own but when that is pushed out of the brain until tomorrow, sex is the cheapest way to survive. It sums up this sad state of affairs.