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Vulnerable: foreign women arriving in Ireland are most open to sex-for-rent abuse, according to Ruhama. The sex-for-rent phenomenon has attracted considerable coverage in the UK, where people — mostly women — have been coming forward to describe their ordeals.
The most basic scenario involves a landlord offering rent-free accommodation to a woman — occasionally to a man — in exchange for sex. But few of the transactions are that simple. The ads are often phrased cryptically, not explicitly referring to sex but implying that accommodation will be offered in exchange for unspecified benefits. This week 10 such ads for accommodation in Ireland were live on the classifieds websites Craigslist and Locanto.
This number excludes duplicate adverts, which in some cases have been placed several times by the same person. The ads were all placed by men, who were, for the most part, looking for women to share their accommodation in exchange for sex.
In one case a man was seeking younger males to share his bedsit. Two other men were looking for accommodation in exchange for sex. Carl, a year-old Dubliner, has advertised several times in the past few months for a young man, between the ages of 18 and 21, to share his bedsit with him rent free.
The Irish Times has contacted all the men who have advertised sex-for-rent arrangements on these websites in the past two months. None will be interviewed by phone or in person. Two respond by email. Jack tells The Irish Times that he first advertised on Craigslist in April for a woman to move in with him rent free in exchange for sex. Some men have been looking for women who would allow them to move in rent free in exchange for sex. Others are looking for sex to feature as a part of their rental agreement but are also willing to pay the landlord rent each month.