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The economy of sex in Lagos city

The business of sex is a booming business in Lagos city and it is also one of the biggest commodities sold.

 

The city of Lagos is a concrete jungle of roughly 20 million people.

It’s a gritty, hard, and sweaty metropolis brimming with ambition, dreams, hopes, and sex. There is a lot of sex in Lagos city. Yeah, a lot of people in the ‘Gidi are doing ‘it’ from the slums of Ajegunle to the posh villas at Banana Island.

Lagos is the city of hustles and sex is one of them. Sex has been packaged as a commodity and sold to the horny, sex-starved and freaky.

Sex is sold by pimps/entrepreneurs or by women hit hard by life. Sex is also sold by starry-eyed women who understand that sex is a ladder to financial security, especially in this tough city.

Allen & Opebi

Allen Avenue roundabout at nightplayAllen Avenue roundabout at night

(Linda Ikeji )

 

Allen Avenue and Opebi are two popular linked roads in the heart of Ikeja, the capital of Lagos. These streets are known for affluence and commerce with abokis dealing in foreign exchange, surrounded by houses owned by established, rich families.

When the sun goes down, the darker side of these two streets crawls out. A drive through Allen and Opebi at night is a tour of some of the popular strip clubs on the mainland. There are least six strip clubs on Allen Avenue and Opebi together.

One of the strip club signs on Opebi, LagosplayOne of the strip club signs on Opebi, Lagos

Tucked in between banks and boutiques are neon lights inviting you to cabarets. Kiss Daniel could have as well been singing about these two streets on his hit single ‘Sin City‘.

In other parts of the world, the concept of the strip club is paying to have lap dances and watch women dance naked. In Lagos, it’s a slightly different deal, a sex hustle as usual.

At Unique Gentlemen, a strip club on Ogundana Street, off Allen Avenue, the price for entrance is N1,000 on weekdays. On Friday and Saturday, it’s N2,000.  The gate fee goes back to N,1000 on Sunday.

The former Unique Gentlemen club in on Ogundana street, off Allen Avenue. The new strip club is a few buildings away from the old strip club.The former Unique Gentlemen club in on Ogundana Street, off Allen Avenue. The new strip club is a few buildings away from the old strip club.

A lap dance in the Unique Gentlemen is N1,000 but this cabaret just like many in Lagos is not meant for just lapdances. To gain access into the V.I.P of any strip club you have to pay. The fee ranges from club to club but when you enter anything and everything goes down. You can take a stripper in there and have sex. Oh yes, you have to pay her too.

The strip club business is big money. “In this place, a girl makes up to N150,000 in a day that is about N600,000 in a week and when she goes out to tell her friends that this is the kind of money she makes, her friend will want to come too and that is why they keep coming from different parts of the world. We have girls from Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana just name it” Shina Edo, owner of The Cave, a popular strip club in Ikeja G.R.A in an interview with iCampusNG in 2014.

Shina Edo, owner of The Cave Strip Club in Ikeja, G.R.AplayShina Edo, owner of The Cave Strip Club in Ikeja, G.R.A

With a seven day, a week open policy and customers looking for more than lap dances, strip clubs are raking in big money.

The oldest profession in the world

Prostitution, as they say, is the oldest hustle in the world and in Lagos it has been going on for centuries.

For some guys, strip clubs might be too pricey and shiny. They prefer the dark hallways of brothels which are more friendly to the pocket of an average working man.

Prostitution is illegal in Nigeria, but many brothel owners and men of the police force have found a way around this. This understanding has helped many brothels flourish without disturbance. Guys looking for a quick fix can drop 5k or less. If you are looking for something longer, the fee depends on your negotiating skills.

And this hustle is round the clock. Apart from brothels, there are also red light districts littered across the city, from Packers in Opebi to Simpson Street on Lagos Island. For the ladies on the road, N2,000 for short time is pretty much the average. If a prostitute has five customers in one night that’s N10,000.

Sex is in big demand and prostitutes in brothels meet up most of this demand. Sex is a mass market commodity and the ladies of the night in brothels and on the streets are the suppliers. The Nigerian Police Force gets its own cut from the sex profit, well, because it is the Nigerian Police. They too must get in on the action. Most of these prostitutes are the breadwinners of their family, sending back money to their folks who don’t live in Lagos. Sex is not only a big business, but it is also what puts food on the table.

Lagos is divided into two, those who have and those who do not have. The Mainland/Island dichotomy is the best example of this divide. The boys who have a bit of cash on the weekend drink on AlomoGulder or Star. The big boys on the Island-pop champagne in the Quito though. The hustling mainland guy and the Lekki big boy have one thing in common- sex.

Where they get sex and how they get sex shows the gulf in class.

If you are a big boy in Lagos, you are most likely not going to a brothel or a strip club to get laid. Yes, after partying hard in Quilox or any other club on the Island, there are a lot of call girls waiting for a rich dude to pick them up. Sometimes they get lucky and some days they don’t. This is because a true Island big boy has a few runs girls on speed dial.

Run The World

Your typical runs girl in Lagos has an iPhone 6, bouncy Peruvian hair, moves around in an Uber and lives in Lekki with four or five of her runs girls friends. The runs girl is at the top of the sex business in Lagos. She doesn’t stand on the roadside or shake her ass on a stage. She is a professional sex worker that makes house calls.

The profile of a runs girl on TinderplayThe profile of a runs girl on Tinder

(Tinder )

You can find these high priced runs girls in nightclubs or events and parties, where the rich and famous go to. They look like video vixens with exquisite bosoms and perfectly shaped bosoms. Their lips are glittering and moist. And their eyes are always in search for the next human ATM machine.

Back in the day, most runs girls lived on the campuses of Nigerian universities. At night time, all sorts of cars from the Japanese twins (Honda and Toyota) to the flashy German boys (BMWand Mercedes Benz) would converge at the female hostels.

In the 90s and 00s, campus prostitution was such a thriving business that pimps had photo albums of chicks that men could pick from. As Internet penetration became higher in Nigeria, the sex hustle became digital.

 play(Tinder )

A typical 'hook up' conversation on TinderplayA typical ‘hook up’ conversation on Tinder

(Tinder )

First, it was 2go and Badoo, but when Tinder came to town, you could now get sex with just a swipe. Tinder is meant to be a dating app but it is now a flesh parlour where you can pay for the services of a runs girl. It is more than likely that 3 or 4 out of 10 women you meet on Tinder are selling sex.

A typical 'hook up' conversation on TinderplayA typical ‘hook up’ conversation on Tinder

(Tinder )

Sex with these Tinder babes goes for nothing less than N20,000. And the babes are willing to do everything except anal sex, well that’s until you offer them money too good to refuse. To assist the Tinder hustle, these runs advertise their goods on Instagram and SnapChat also.

Ever wondered how an unemployed babe can go to Dubai for weeks? This is where Instagram and SnapChat come in. Rich Dubai men have been known to fly our runs girls to their city for bizarre sexual acts after seeing their sexy photos on these apps.

Just like football players, some runs girls are foreign-based who get flown out frequently and others play the local scene.

Hotels and especially guest houses are springing up at a fast rate in Lagos mainly because married men want to have sex. You can’t bring a runs girl to your house so you take her to a guest house. As with most things in Lagos, the rates of rooms in guest houses on the mainland are cheaper than that on the Island. Have sex according to your pocket.

Sex On Demand

Sex is booming on the streets, in strip clubs, nightclubs, on campuses and on apps. Millions of Naira change hands each day from the people who want this sweet commodity to the people who provide it.

Lekki runs girls usually stay in the same houseplayLekki runs girls usually stay in the same house

(Ketekete)

Sex has helped the hospitality and private taxi businesses flourish, proving it is a strong player in this city’s economy. It was recently said that the most popular Uber route is from UNILAG to Lekki. The University of Lagos is notorious for runs girls. Landlords too benefit from the demand as thousands of Lekki runs girls have to hustle to pay rent.

In this city you can get sex by hitting up a local brothel or tapping an app on your phone. However you want it, you can get it as long as your price is right. As the popular saying goes “money for hand, back for ground.” Prostitution is not a crime in Lagos. The only crime in Lagos is if you do not have money.

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