‘Compensated Dating’ on the Rise in Hong Kong

There is a worrying trend on the rise in Hong Kong, China. Teenage girls who are still in school have discovered a new way to make money; it’s called ‘compensated dating’.

By advertising on line, girls find men who want to take them out on a date and pay them for it. These dates often lead to sex, so it is not a safe practise for girls so young and vulnerable.

One girl, who only wishes to be known as her working name ‘Szu’, is now aged 19. She has a secret in her past that she hopes her family will never find out about. Szu has now spoken out because she wants other young girls to not make the same mistake as she did.

Sze described her first encounter of a compensated date. The man was middle aged and not unpleasant. However, they skipped dinner and went straight to a room to have sex. She said that she was scared at first, but that she thought it was the only way to make money. It seemed an easy option so she continued to do it.

This carried on for a year and a half of Sze’s life. When asked why she started in the first place, she said that many other girls at her school were doing it. They suddenly had money to buy designer clothes, handbags and make up – this made Sze jealous and she wanted these things too. Her school friends showed her an internet chat room where she could find men to take her on compensated dates.

This can be very dangerous, because the girls know nothing about the men they are going to meet. In fact, a 16 year old girl was murdered in Hong Kong last year when she went on a compensated date. The killer, Ting Kai-Tai, dismembered the teenager’s body and flushed the parts down the toilet. He was arrested and sentenced to life in jail.

Most of the girls who go on compensated dates do not view themselves as prostitutes, because they get to choose who they date and can say no at any point. Szu said that she did sometimes feel shame accepting money for sex, but the feeling would pass as soon as she wanted to go shopping and had the money.

Some comparisons have been drawn to the girls who work as escorts in London. Take our London Bridge escorts for example; they accept money to be taken on a date, although payment in this case is only for time and companionship.

Hong Kong legal experts, however, say that compensated dating is a form of prostitution and therefore illegal. Girls continue to do it for shopping money or due to an unstable home life.