Bros, how far? You wan f***ck?” Those were the magic words; the phrase has become the trade call of the ladies of the night who line the walkways from Tinubu Street through Kakawa Street onto Broad Street on Lagos Island at night.
Thus, it wasn’t surprising when a medium height young lady, dressed in skimpy black tank top and a pair of bum shorts moved close to our correspondent as she swayed her hips in an exaggerated manner that night. She immediately offered her service. He was a potential patron, she probably thought.
Located close to many banks which dot the vicinity, the sex spot does not look luxurious. But it is not likely that a conscious person would miss the kind of trade that goes on in the area.
Women of varying sizes, complexion and heights – as young as 19 and as old as 35 years, and marked out by their heavily made up faces, ‘patrol’ the streets.
Every passing man, who spares them a short glance, either gets a lavish seductive look in return or the trade call.
At this point, it is left for the man to either look away, take a second look or consider the invitation.
Curious as to how and where these ladies actually service their patrons, our correspondent approached one of them and asked how much her service would cost.
When our correspondent approached, three of the ladies jumped to their feet to advertise their goods. Two seemed to be in their late 30s, fair in complexion and voluptuous.
A young lad in his late 20s was also seen beside the three commercial sex workers positing as some sort of guard for the girls against anyone that may want to take advantage of them.
When the chosen one, who identified herself as Chioma, led our correspondent to a corner off the rough passage, she stopped suddenly and entered a shack.
Like a blow, a strong stench emanating from the small, empty room hit our correspondent. The shack was a room faintly lit by the reflection of the streetlights outside. The shack was outright repulsive. The small room neither had a floor nor ceiling, not to talk of a bed, bench, or any object that could make one slightly comfortable. The ‘room’ was also open as there was no door.
When asked where the ‘action’ would take place, Chioma said, “It is inside this room now, where you wan make we go again? We dey do am here, no be today.”
Asked how much she charged, Chioma said N1,000. Despite bargaining, she insisted on the amount. When asked if the price could come down if there was no actual sex but just fondling, she angrily said, ‘No o, I no dey romance. Wetin I wan take romance do? Abeg f***ck if you wan f***ck, na only f***ck we dey do for here.’
However, when our correspondent asked if she would accept the same N1,000 for the fondling, she became impatient and attempted to storm out of the door-less ‘room.’ On further persuasion, she reluctantly said that the N1,000 was the standard price and that they do only actual sex and nothing less, and it was payment before service.
It came as a shock to her when our correspondent asked for the bed on which the fun would take place. She said they usually have sex with men while standing thus there would be no need for a bed or bench as none was available. In her words, “Bed or wetin? Na as we dey so we dey do am. No time.”
During the day, these streets are busy with commercial activities but they take on a totally different outlook at night.
When our correspondent visited the place one morning, a food joint, otherwise called mama put, operates at the spot.
With the thousands of traders who parade Tinubu Street in the day, a stranger may not be able to imagine the other side of commercial activities that take place there at night.
Our correspondent observed that as business activities round off from 8pm the commercial sex workers convert some of the wooden sheds used by traders during the day to their own stand and get set for work.
When our correspondent visited the place around 8pm on Tuesday, there was no sign that anything out of the ordinary occurred there as people were still moving around.
The spot where the sex business takes place shares premises with a football-viewing centre and it is located in a discreet corner. Only a closer look at the place or those who are familiar with the ‘night business’ that take place there would be able to identify the commercial sex workers as they take positions under the traders’ sheds.
The visit turned out to be a revelation that commercial sex hawking has taken on a new dimension. Here in the heart of Lagos, patrons buy ‘quickie’ without a bench, mattress or any form of luxury.
Ironically, sex here does not come cheap in spite of its location and the lack of luxury.
Interestingly, there was an old man, a taxi driver and an old woman, a trader who sat in front of the premises of the sex spot, both in their 60s, and they seemed unconcerned about the happenings in their surroundings as they appeared carried away with their discussion.
When our correspondent approached some traders who were closing their shops and some company security men on the street for comments, some of them claimed ignorance while some said they were aware.
Chidi, a trader who sells clothes close to the spot, said, “This place is a very busy place, both in the morning and evening, so I am not aware if there is any such thing happening there.”
A security personnel attached to one of the companies around the spot, who craved anonymity for fear of being humiliated, said the ladies had been operating there for some time. “They have been there for some time now, but anyone who does not know that such things happen there may not easily notice them, because most of them stay under the shade. They make their money because guys patronise them. You know it’s quickie, so it’s fast.”
Another trader, Obinna, said he knew some ladies usually come there at night but that it meant nothing to him. “As long as they don’t disturb me, they should continue. They have been there for some time now, so it’s not new to me, personally.”
Gone are the days when commercial sex workers stayed in brothels while waiting for their clients. At first, Allen Avenue was known as headquarters of these young ladies in Lagos State but slowly and gradually, they began to expand their coast to places like Ikeja GRA, Agege, Obalende, National Stadium at Surulere, Iyana-Ipaja and Lagos Island.
From 9pm, when one takes a drive on Allen Avenue, these girls would make seductive gestures trying to lure men to come to them. They make statements like, “Hey gorgeous, do you like what you see?”
However, these girls normally have a place where they take their clients to ‘service’ them. If it is for ‘short time,’ there is always a building around where they do their business. Most times, they would rather opt for ‘TDB’ – Till Day Breaks – because of convenience.
When our correspondent insisted that it had to be on the bed or at least a bench, Chioma hissed irritatingly. When asked how much she would charge if she had to be taken out of the area, she gave a long hiss again and said, “shey na you wey no fit f***ck for here go fit carry person comot?” Then she stormed out of the room in anger and went back to her colleagues outside.
While leaving the squalid environment, Chioma was overheard telling her colleagues that it was a mere waste of her time. “No mind the yeye guy, na romance him want, him talk say him no dey f***ck,” she said.
When our correspondent left the premises and observed from a distance, two young men went in one after the other at few minutes intervals, nothing less could be expected since it was a quickie.
During the visit to Lagos Island, a lot of activities involving parades and calling out to customers was also noticed on Simpson Street where as usual, the ladies of the night were seen dressed in short, skimpy and see-through apparels.
Of course, this corroborates the daring disposition of the commercial sex workers and the rapid expansion of the business. But the sex-while-standing on the island seems like a new development. Here, the commercial sex workers meet the needs of their customers who want a quickie whilst saving time.
As the commercial sex business continues to grow, a visit by our correspondent to a popular street inside the Iyana-Ipaja main market revealed that the timing of the business could easily pass for a civil service job.
As early as 4am, workers have resumed at the old, unpainted storey building, located at the heart of the market. Early in the morning and late at night, the sex workers stay in front of the building calling on potential customers and some passers-by who look in their direction.
When our correspondent entered through the small door that opens into a reception-like space inside the building, he met about seven women who displayed their products, showcasing what made them peculiar.
Of particular interest was a lady who was fanning herself while sweating profusely, and when she was asked by one of her colleagues why she was sweating profusely, she said, “na f***ck o, no mind me, the guy wan kill me.”
The one picked by our correspondent said the price had to be negotiated before they went into her room. She said ‘quickie,’ which means the fastest form of sexual intercourse that does not take time, costs N1,500. After serious bargaining, she agreed to collect N1,200 which was above what our correspondent offered to pay.
Since she could not agree with the price offered by our correspondent, another worker, who identified herself as Odi, offered to collect N1,000 which she said, was the standard price, but she was open to options when asked about the option of romance. Odi said, “If you want only romance, I can take N700 but I would be the one in charge and you would pay before service. If it is just to allow you ‘come,’ I can manage N700.”
There was a bar inside the building where men and women drink while the operator played music, blaring through the loud speakers and the spot is self -introducing at such hour due to the loud music. For an unsuspecting visitor, the place could pass for a bar, but each of the sex workers has a room upstairs where they attend to their guests with no interference from others.
However, the rapid growth in the business of commercial sex has forced some businesses to recognise the potential of money-making in it.
These days, most bars now have girls on display as they have drinks. And the girls are also offered to customers who are interested and willing to pay.