Launched in January 2018, our ‘What Irish Sex Buyers Are Really Thinking’ campaign revealed the cold reality of sex buyers’ attitudes to the women they pay for sex, in their own words. It was created through our involvement in the ‘A Penny For Your Thoughts’ project.
As part of the ‘A Penny For Your Thoughts’ project, ‘Andreea’ – a silhouette image posed seductively above a phone number – was ‘advertised’ in a variety of busy locations in Dublin and on three websites online. Callers to the number were greeted by the voicemail message of ‘Andreea’, a bubbly Eastern European woman who promised a fun, ‘sensual’ time. However, her story quickly took a dark turn, when ‘Andreea’ revealed she had been trafficked into Ireland’s sex trade. She ended the voicemail by asking the caller to leave her a message with their thoughts. See more about the A Penny For Your Thoughts Project here.
In just 20 short days, ‘Andreea’ received over 1,000 contacts, including hundreds from male sex buyers. Chillingly, very few of them were in any way concerned about her circumstances or her plight, with a large proportion still enquiring about her services, prices and availability.
Our campaign video revealed the extent to which sex buyers saw ‘Andreea’ as a service and product, rather than an actual person or a victim of Ireland’s sex trade. Common requests included explicit photos, anal sex and sex specifically without a condom.
This video achieved nationwide acclaim and captured the imagination of the public, raising awareness about the reality of sex trafficking and challenging a culture of male sexual entitlement within the system of prostitution.