Industry Analysis: Prostitution in Kazakhstan
No idea who Ilya Blogger is, but he seems to know a lot about the prostitution market in Almaty [RU].
Apparently, the early years of thee recession may have been good for prostitutes because the middle-management office and bank workers, who make up the main market for prostitutes, were working harder and just didn’t have the energy for dating. So prostitution made an easy and less-taxing substitute.
But now that prices are rising, the sex trade is suffering as consumers don’t have excess money for luxury goods. So, “the wife has become more in-demand”. Meaning that the market wasn’t able to sustain price rises in “street trade for bodies” matching inflation in other areas in the “wholesale” trade, although the market for elite customers hasn’t suffered as much. So street walkers are working less as they can’t make a profit.
Or they are expanding into other areas including more exotic services like toys, massage, bondage, striptease or working in pairs. However, “live-in wives” or “maids with benefits” is not a service that is taking off. Customers demand it for no more than one day at a time.
Prostitutes charge around $100 an hour or $300 for a night (in a country where the average income is around $450 a month). However, the author points out, each prostitute sets an individual price based on her desirability.
And while there are known saunas or massage parlors that offer extra services (either running their own brothels or sub-contracting out to freelance workers), street walking and placing thinly disguised classified ads in the papers seems to be the norm.
I’d be curious who Mr. Blogger is and how he knows so much about this sector of the economy. I know that police have gone after sex slaves and pimps who use underage prostitutes, but is prostitution criminalized in Kazakhstan? And who bears the most burden of law enforcement: the client or the worker? One also wonders if there aren’t high class brothels and escort services for the elite that are kept well hidden?