Migrant Men in Greece are Prostituting themselves to Survive

By OckyDub | Posted Jun 2 2016 | 2 Comments  


The first time Abdullah had sex for money was just two weeks after he arrived in Athens.

He was living at a disused airport along with thousands of other Afghan migrants. A week after he moved in, some friends took him along with them to the Pedion tou Areos, Athens’ main public park.

Abdullah didn’t like it. “It was a dirty place,” he said. “There were people there using drugs. A lot of strange people.”

Some of those people were older men who would come up and start talking to him. It was then that his friends told him why they came to the park. “They told me, ‘We have sex with these guys, and they pay us.’”

In his birth country Iran, he had slept with both girls and boys, he said, but never with “old men.”

“I got angry,” he said. “I had just arrived, and I had to do this just to get some money.”

But he stayed in the park for several hours, and after being approached by various men, he had sex with one of them in a wooded area off the main pavilion, for 20 euros (a little over $20).

“I didn’t have any money,” Abdullah said. “At the airport, there is no healthy work. You can sell drugs, sell sex or work for smugglers to find customers. There was no other way for me. I didn’t even have 20 cents.”

Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers live in Athens, hardly any of whom actually want to stay there. The continent’s new border rules have left them trapped on their way to northern Europe, and when their money runs out there’s almost no legal way to earn more. This is especially true for people from countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, whose citizenship classifies them in Europe as “economic migrants,” and who for that reason have been stuck in the city longer than most Syrians, who are considered “refugees.”

With no money left, some young men sell sex to survive — in Pedion tou Areos, Victoria Square, and various bars and clubs around the city. 

In Greece, sex work is legal only in registered brothels. But it’s common on the streets, too. Years of economic hard times have lured more women into prostitution. That’s well known. The male sex trade, on the other hand, is little reported, but it appears to be rising as Greece struggles with its economic and refugee crises.

Read the full article here by Aaron Labaree and visit PRI.org



About the Author

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

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2 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. ControlledXaos
    ControlledXaos | June 2nd, 2016

    I think that selling sex should be decriminalized. I think it would cut down on human trafficking and would also make it safer for people who are sex workers.

    That being said, this is interesting. People would rather flee an oppressive country and take a chance at a better life and become a sex worker.

    There's s a mixture of desperation and guts here. Going to a country that you clearly are not able to earn a living in takes some moxie. But I also wonder how much poor planning is also a factor. Not having but twenty cents to your name and an empty stomach kicks you into Survival Mode quickly.

  2. mojoreece
    mojoreece | June 2nd, 2016

    ControlledXaosNot having but twenty cents to your name and an empty stomach kicks you into Survival Mode quickly.

    I think this is also why a lot of young men (gay, straight or bi) go into sex work (straight for pay, escorting, porn, prostitution, cam work etc) some do it out of survival mode. Some of the guys are in ruff patches in their life and would rather do sex work instead of steal, sell drugs and illegal stuff. Some are able to feed their kids, fund themselves through school, a start businesses, get over a ruff patch in life, and move on with life etc. I guess that's whey they call it the oldest profession.

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