In late April, a Southern Weekend (南方周末) reporter visited a “10-yuan brothel” (十元店)[zh], the most cut-rate of venues housing China’s sex-trade, often catering to China’s many lonely and poor migrant workers. The lengthy article, which has been translated by chinaSmack, tells the story of the pseudonymic Wu Xianfang, a 48 year-old migrant worker turned prostitute:
[...]In order to keep their customers coming, most of these women here don’t use condoms — not to mention these things could be evidence of prostitution. Wu Xianfang sometimes uses them, and sometimes doesn’t, and in her own words, “you can tell if they have a disease or not”, her simple standard for detection being : those whose appearances are clean probably don’t carry any diseases, but must be cautious with those who in shabbier clothes.
Wu Xianfang has never had a gynecological examination. A gynecological examination costs thirty kuai, an amount she has receive three customers and risk being caught three times to earn. When her body feels unusual, she takes a bus to the country and has an infusion called “inflammation shot”, which costs over twentykuai, is said to be penicillin, and as soon as the inflammation goes down, she immediately begins working again.
After the past five to six years, Wu Xianfang has become accustomed to this kind of life. She’s very diligent. Her “working hours” are from 8:00 in the morning to 9:30 at night and unless there’s a situation requiring her to return home, she works all year without a break. As time goes by, she’s gotten used to it, gotten numb about it, as doing this kind of work “is just like going into the fields to farm”.[...]
Set in the same squalid conditions of a “10-yuan brothel”, Paul Mooney tells the story of Ye Haiyan.
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