By Bunmi Sofola
AS to be expected, the current economic melt-down has created a lot of people who grapple with the menace of the credit crunch— not only have they lost their jobs, the prospect of finding any other, not to talk of one commensurate in remunerations is zilch! When Eunice, a personnel director of an insurance company was asked to reduce the work force by a third, she felt like a real hatchet man. “It was a most heart-wrenching experience doling out retrenchment letters and watching the bleak expressions on the faces of staff who have lost their jobs,” she said sadly. A few weeks later, it was her turn to get the dreaded ‘golden handshake.’ In her wildest dreams, she never even believed she would get the chop.
“One morning’ she alleged:”My boss called me into a meeting. ‘I m sorry,’ he said, not quite catching my eyes, ‘the company’s in a bad shape here as you know. We have to let you go’. I drove home in a terrified daze. I’d come to work that morning with an official driver. Now, I had to drive myself home as the driver too had got the sack! How could this happen to me with no previous official warning? How were we going to cope, feed the kids and accommodation! We needed my salary to meet the mortgage payment and the children’s school fees.
The kids were in very expensive schools and I was panicky. My redundancy money wouldn’t last forever. My husband’s business had depended heavily on bank loans that he often quickly paid back but now that the banks are being whipped into shape, the loans have simply dried up. He was as shocked as I was by my redundancy and tried to be sympathetic as I made efforts to get a job—any sort of job.
“Then a friend approached me to start a sort of financial consultancy. We would work from her home by sourcing for capital for budding businesses. It was hard going at first, and I was too proud to accept I’d failed. So, I contacted mostly business associates from my insurance years. I never used to understand why people suffered from depression, because I always thought that if you knew things were bad, you’d soon change them for the better. As I hit the brick wall with most of my contacts, a friendly one asked out of the blues if I wanted lunch in his office. I’d had so many failures that I was frustrated enough to give things a go. After all, my proposal with him was at stake.
If I wasn’t happy with what he had to say, I’d leave; it was as simple as that. He was a nice man, in his 50s with sexy-graying hair, a bit of a paunch and a friendly smile. He made my visit much easier than I ‘d expected. What surprised me the most was the speed with which things happened. If it were a real date for instance, there would be a long intimate build-up, lots of chatting, kisses and foreplay. But this one wasn’t interested in all that—he told me he had less than an hour to get back to the pile of files on his table. So, within minutes of arriving, I was completely naked and we were about to have sex. At first, I just found it really weired. It was odd having sex with a virtual stranger, but he had positive sides I could focus on which made the whole encounter less sordid—on top of which was his word that I would get the contract.
“From then on, it became easier to have ‘lunch’ with a few of my contacts. One or two have now become regulars. Others were one-offs. Some of these men are heavy weights in the society and quite good-looking;some are rude, but I’m lucky so far that a lot of them have kept their promises, and as soon as most of our debts are cleared, I will stop…”
When Jumi got admitted into one of the universities, she was ecstatic. “When I was growing up,” she explained, “my dream was to make a name in the fashion industry, and my admission was a step towards achieving my goal. I was just 20, pretty, slim and had many friends. In my naivety, I started to feel a bit invincible. But when I arrived at the university, everything started going wrong. Most of the girls on my course were really lovely — and from well-off families. Some shopped abroad and carried the latest ‘it’ bags and knew about all the leading fashion houses. In contrast, I was from a small town and my style was more second-hand ‘grade, As’ than glossy and well groomed.
“ It was as if I’d come from another planet. I withdrew into myself and became disheartened. On my first holiday home, my friends didn’t behave quite the same as I noticed. They believed I was now a bit more superior. Determined not to sink back to the level of a ‘town girl,’ I agreed to go on “dates” that were so common on campus, especially the ones organized by worldly-wise girls with their ‘aristo’ money bags. It was plain prostitution; and if I wanted to buy the expensive books and clothes I needed to get by, it would be a small price to pay. You may think all the reasons I’ve given are lame excuses for deciding to sell my body. But the truth is that taking my destiny in my hands actually turned my life around. I had a focus and told myself, I’d only do it for as long as it took to pay-off my bills at the university.
“I stopped as soon as I graduated and had enough money to set up my own business. Now I love my new life and I’ve never once felt ashamed of how I got where I am today. In fact, more students than we want to admit turn to prostitution to pay their massive debts. The way I see it is that I made a smart business decision, and it saved my life. So what’s there to feel guilty about…?” Are our women getting too hard-hearted”? I was still mulling over the blatant declaration of these women when a friend of mine called. “Have you heard of the number of women who ‘share’ their good fortunes with their friends?” She asked in between our chat. ‘What do you mean?’ I wanted to know, ears perked.
“Three of four women could now share the prowess of a stud, that’s all”. So what was new? We already knew of gigolos who go after rich women. ‘Are you listening?’ she asked impatiently. According to her: “These women are friends and well connected. As soon as one of them gets on to a good stud, she calls another in the group to inform her to expect a new find. “O dun b’aje’ she coos, meaning ‘he’s as tasty as hell’. So on trots super stud to his next customer until he does the round of all four or five and is well rewarded for services well rendered.
I took this news with a shovel full of salt as I recounted its probability with an older male friend I always use as a sounding board. ‘Of course, it goes on all the time,’ he agrees. ‘At say 40 upwards, most men are rearing to go and wifey is too busy running the home, looking after the kids and holding down a job. Where else would such husband and single adventurous men find solace but in the arms of bored women with money to burn and less than their ration of sex? They (the women) are always a delight to be with—they scream and yell and are grateful as hell! In short, the man gets handsomely compensated by making his clients purr like a well-timed engine—both sides to the contract are happy end of credit crunch for him and a fulfilling sex-life for the mama kesl”