1 Corinthians 13: 1 & 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

4 December 2013

Compensated Dating

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my views regarding the problems of compensated dating. According to the survey conducted by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, compensated dating has become more widespread in Hong Kong. Recently girls are finding new ways to find clients including through online games. It deteriorates the problem critically. In this letter, I will suggest several contributing factors leading to this problem, followed by suggesting solutions in accordance to the problem.

In my view, one main reason for the emergence of compensated dating is the rewards for their companionship. Teenage girls have no financial income generally, except their pocket money from their parents. However, due to the mass media, their desires become more luxurious and beyond their ability to pay. In an attempt to get what they want, they choose to make money at the expense of their moral and body. The girls who participate in compensated dating can earn about HK$1,000 for each date which usually last two hours, said by Ah Yan, a girl having the experience.

In an effort to tackle the problem of compensated dating, I think the school should place more emphasis on educating the teenage girls about the citizenship and the morality. Schools should not only focus on the academic results of the students, but also cultivate their moralities and enhance their self-esteem. Also, the schools should train the analytic skills of the students to think properly under the influences of the mass media, preventing them from being materialistic. If it works, teenage girls will not earn money by using their body, contrarily they will respect themselves more and have a proper thought on their lives.

The other contributing factor to the emergence of compensated dating is the misconception about the compensated dating. The young women believe that compensated dating differs from sex work because they have a choice of clients. They think that they can judge the patrons merely by their appearance and brief conversations on the platforms. And the girls also think that compensated dating is legal in Hong Kong.

Actually, in compensated dating, more often than not, sex is involved, making this to be another word for prostitution. Prostitution is illegal in Hong Kong and some existing laws can be applied to charge compensated dating, including “Soliciting for any immoral purpose.” Lam, from sex workers’ concern group, warns that it is dangerous to judge patrons merely by their appearance and there is nothing to protect them from violence. To rectify the misconceptions, the government should strengthen the promotion and hold more talks about the concert ideas of compensated dating.

In conclusion, to tackle the problem of compensated dating, there is no other option but to educate the younger and enhance the promotion. We hope there will be no more girls involved in compensated dating and those involved can get back on the right track.

Yours faithfully,

Pat Chan

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