Miami's Sex Trade: 13 Shocking Secrets From Inside the $235 Million Industry
Did you know that pimps in Miami are competitive about their style of shoes but are more than willing to cooperate to avoid prosecution? Or that brothels here can often be a family business? Or that the overall sex trade income has declined since 2003?
The Urban Institute has released a landmark study of the underground commercial sex economy of eight American cities, including Miami. Researchers spoke to law enforcement officials, pimps, and sex workers to sketch out the dynamics of the sex trade in each city. Here are some surprising findings about Miami.
The overall economic impact of the sex trade has fallen.
Miami's sex trade was estimated to be a $302 million-a-year industry in 2003, but it fell to $235 million in 2007. Though the sex trade is still bigger than both the drug ($95.7 million) and gun trade ($118), Miami's sex trade has also shrunk below that of Atlanta's.
Pimps are making less money a week.
According to the study, a pimp in Miami would take in about $21,929 in cash each week before 2005, but post-2005 numbers show the average is down to $17,741. Pimps in Atlanta ($32,833 a week), Denver ($31,200), and Seattle ($18,000) make more.
Pimps in Miami are surprisingly friendly to one another.
Here's an interview with a local law enforcement officer:
They party together, go to the beach together, go to the club together, and have the girls outside when they go inside, have the girls come inside... I don't know if it's so much a network as a social network. It's a social network, but they definitely communicate, there's communication between all the pimps. But it's kind of contrary to the traditional belief of where a pimp is against another pimp and he's by himself. It's more of a wolf-pack mentality now where they all hang together. It's almost like if they're all making money, it's fine, but as long as we're making it... They're competitive, but they're more competitive about 'my ring is bigger than your ring, and my girl brought me this, and I didn't have to do anything for this, my clothes, my sneakers, is better than what you've got.' That's how they're competitive.