Beautiful girls, rich women, money, expensive cars, strip clubs, luxurious hotels â€”the secret sex trade, exclusive only to women, is now big business in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, P.M.NEWS has revealed, after intense undercover research.
Like in a secret cult, only the initiated understand its cryptic language, esoteric ways, sexual benefits and financial rewards.
For those involved in the bizarre trade, it was discovered during investigation in Lagos Mainland and Island, lesbianism is not new.
Most sex workers with secondary school education agreed that their involvement in the salacious act dates back to their boarding school days when they were initiated by older girls.
Back then, it was just casual sex by girls in their puberty. Today, lesbianism has become a trade, a big but hidden business in the Lagos metropolis.
Dozens of prostitutes informally interviewed during this investigation gave a rare insight into the usually hermetic world of lesbianism in Lagos and the trade now associated with it.
The youngest lesbian prostitute P.M.NEWS met for this article was 16 years old. Most of them were in their early 20s.
Many get involved through seduction. Some are influenced or initiated by friends who are already in the sex trade and have contacts and connections in high places , where women are ready to exchange cash for pleasure.
â€œI was introduced to lesbianism when I was in secondary school. I was in a boarding school in Benin,â€ says one of the lesbian prostitutes who introduced P.M.NEWS team into the strange world of lesbian prostitution in Nigeriaâ€™s most populous city.
Now a student at the University of Ado Ekiti, the Edo State indigene, shuttles between campus and clubs, hotel rooms or sleek houses in Lagos most weekends to have sex with rich women.
â€œI have to be in Lagos on weekends because thatâ€™s where the business pays well. Sometimes, I travel to Port Harcourt, but most times, I come Lagos.
â€œI already know how it works here in Lagos. I have a lot of contacts in the strip clubs and I have a lot girls who are into the business and they refer women to me. But it is better to meet the woman yourself because if she is rich, the other girl will not refer you to her, she will take her herself,â€ she says.
During an outing in Lagos four weeks ago, she remembered with nostalgia, how a rich man once approached her for his shy wife and paid her big money.
â€œShe was shy, she told me. She wanted a girl that night but she could not come to the strip club and her husband picked me for her.
â€œThe husband left us in the room upstairs. He was having some drinks downstairs and watching TV. He later came when we were almost done and gave her a peck. He asked her if I was good. She didnâ€™t answer. She just gave him a peck and smiled,â€ she said.
She admitted that sometimes, she services men, but added, â€œItâ€™s better to do it with a girl. She knows how to make you come and she cannot transmit diseases to you.â€
There are also risks, she admitted. She remembered how she was approached by â€œone rich woman with a British accent.
â€œI agreed to follow her. However, when we got home, there were two other ladies waiting for me. She did not tell me I would be having sex with three women. But I had no choice. I was already there and I did it. I just renegotiated the amount,â€ she said.
This new trend of prostitution is fast spreading among teenagers, but is not restricted to them.
The high and mighty in the society are involved. Other less fortunate in life are also involved in their level.
Tribe or religion is no barrier. P.M.NEWS was introduced to some lesbian prostitutes who claimed to be Muslims and others said they are Christians.
There were also others, who perhaps, due to the effect of alcohol, did not know which religion they practice.
Unlike the ordinary sex trade between men and women, those involved in the trade said they do not stand by the roadside to meet patrons.
Patrons and sex workers usually meet in some of the strip clubs in Lagos, exchange contacts or leave straightaway for their escapades.
Rich women are involved mainly for pleasure while the workers are in it for money.
â€œItâ€™s about connection. One person introduces â€œone person to another and it goes round. They are able to identify themselves through compliments like;oh! I love your legs. You have sweet boobs. You look beautiful,â€™â€ another lesbian prostitute told P.M.NEWS in a strip club during the investigation.
She added: â€œThey also wink and look seductively at you. If they get a good response from you, then they know they are with the right person.â€
She says some possess a high level of courage.
â€œThey can walk up to any lady they find attractive as long as the environment is safe for them.â€
Other prostitutes argued that society women in Lagos who are involved in the trade are very caring.
â€œEspecially if they find you interesting, in the sense that if you are able to make them reach orgasm. They will give you a special treatment such as take you for shopping and keep you as partner even after sex. They can then buy you a car or rent you an apartment,â€ one of the sex workers said, echoing what was heard from others in their business.
The payment for services rendered is determined by quality service offered by the prostitute.
â€œIt could be sucking their private part or the ability to creatively use your hands to please them,â€ a sex worker said.
The excellent use of vibrators and a good massage can put one worker at an advantage position.
The fees start from N15000 a night and can reach N100,000 in some cases. The amount dwarfs by far what is paid by men, which starts from N1000 or N2000 depending on the area.
The ghettos are no exception to the trade but the price is relatively poor, it was discovered. It varies between N2000 and N5000.
One sex worker explained that even though the trade is based on connections and recommendations, there are special places where it is easy to get hooked with lesbians. Beauty salon, luxurious hotels, swimming pools and expensive shopping malls were mentioned.
Married women are also involved. They woo girls in need of money, including their friendsâ€™ daughters.
Married women in the trade claim that their husbands are either not good enough in bed or too busy to attend to their sexual needs.
â€œThey tell me their husbands do not satisfy them or are too busy and they canâ€™t cheat with another man without being suspected,â€ a worker told P.M.NEWS.
â€œThe good thing about it is that men cannot suspect them. Any woman can hang out with them and men are not bothered,â€ a sex worker said.
Some women, the prostitute explained, invite two girls to satisfy them.
The root of this new dimension of prostitution can be traced to â€œonly-girlsâ€ boarding schools.
Young innocent girls in such schools are lured into the act by older girls, most time through bullying.
During this investigation, our correspondents interviewed dozens of sex workers mainly at strip clubs and attended a get together by lesbians and bi-sexuals.
â€”Simon Ateba & Kashimana Beba