Books Extracts

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Although Glasgow’s origins date as far back as the 6th century when Saint Mungo established a church, Scotland’s largest city owes much of its demographic growth to the tobacco trade and heavy shipbuilding of the 17th century colonial era. For a while, over one million people lived in the Second City of the British Empire, before two World Wars and the Great Depression (i.e. the world financial instability from 1929-32, not Rangers FC’s  nine in a row success from 1987-1996)  took its toll and Glasgow went into decline.

In recent years, there has been a strong resurgence in the cities economic fortune, with most of the old, heavy industry replaced by modern hi-tech and commercial business. Nowadays, Glasgow is well-known around the world as a bustling, cosmopolitan city, boasting the UK's largest and most economically important retail centre outside of London. The third most popular foreign tourist destination in the United Kingdom, the City of Glasgow now flourishes as a cultural centre, offering an annual festival of the arts, the tallest cinema in the world, and several red-hot red light districts.


SEX HAS BEEN sold in Glasgow city centre for many, many years. Nowadays, under the shadows of ultra-modern office blocks and the nearby Kingston Bridge, seventeen prostitutes work the patch around the city’s prospering Financial District. These women come from Easterhouse, Drumchapel and even as far afield as Moscow to ply their trade in Glasgow’s square kilometre, each with differing motives for performing lewd sexual acts in the dimly lit side-streets and alleyways around Wellington Street, but all with a similar reason for their employment in the world’s oldest profession: Money.

By day, Fiona Cowie works as a part-time receptionist in Devine’s Massage Parlour in the Gorbals. Fiona has recently started moonlighting on Wellington Street in the evenings because she can earn 200 pounds a night spreading her legs up Cheapside Street, but only £6.50 an hour handing out towels to top judiciary wanting nothing more than a shave until they take their pants off.

Margo Monaghan and her sister Morag solicit their services on West Campbell Street because of their long-term liking for mail-order catalogue shopping, but shorter term disliking of the menacing looking credit card debt-collectors now knocking strongly on their doors.

Widowed housewife Isobel Arbuthnot is also struggling to cope with mounting bills. A recent addition to the Wellington Street workforce, fifty-nine year old Isobel from Bothwell has resorted to selling her aging body because her husband Henry left her with nothing but a lapsed health insurance policy and a Robert Maxwell pension when he inconveniently died of acute myocardial infarction earlier in the year.

Drumchapel’s Shona Boag’s other half is still alive. Shona wears high heels and fishnets on Blythewood Street because her husband Gerald is abysmal in bed and has never managed to satisfy her womanly urges.

Ex-alcoholic Margaret ‘Mags’ Skelton has been dry for almost two months, but on the game for a lot, lot  longer. Only time will only tell if she can stay on the wagon much longer.

Addictions run deep with several of the women on Wellington Street. Elsie ‘The Junkie’ Rankin from Partick prostitutes herself on the city centre streets because at six pounds a bag, heroin is an expensive habit. Tigerskin-patterned Lycra wearer Elizabeth ‘Mad Lizzy’ Ogilvie from Greater Pollok joins her, because of her constant cravings for crack.

Peroxide blonde Lizzy Devlin from Castlemilk is another working girl caught in a vicious circle of drugs to blank out the punters, and punters to pay for more drugs. She works the shadows around Wellington Street to feed and clothe her young son, and supplement her monthly CSA windfall.

Avril ‘Hannibal’ McGonagall has a baby heroin problem. She gives fifteen pound blowjobs in the twenty-four hour car park on Mitchell Street, partly because of her increasing skag habit, but also she doesn’t have the teeth (or typing skills) for a secretarial office job. An ex-boyfriend once told Avril she gave an excellent gam, so she decided to give whoring a go.

Heavily pregnant Tracy McGivney also performs fellatio for a living, offering come-in-mouth blowjobs for the simple reason that not many punters wanted to go near her other orifices whilst a babies head sits so close to her vulva, and large haemorrhoids congregate around her sphincter.

Drumchapel’s Edna Ruddle has become a local celebrity on Wellington Street in recent weeks, after being caught on a CCTV camera up Cadogan Lane with an a SPL footballer that plays for a team that performs well domestically, but always falls at the first hurdle in Europe. Despite her popularity receiving a welcomed boost because of the grainy quality eleven minute DVD now being sold for ten pounds down the Barras, Edna’s prices are still affordably low.

Fake-tanned Audrey ‘Fast Talker’ Currie from Carmunock sells her body each weekend because she wants to go to Magaluf in the summer. Budget airfares to Spain have become increasingly expensive in recent years due to fuel price and airport tax hikes, so Audrey now hikes up her skirt up on Cadzow Street each Friday and Saturday evening to help finance her fortnight in sunnier climes.

Latvian street-girl Kristine Sprogis has only recently arrived in Scotland, courtesy of a Ryanair flight. The nineteen year old had been working the cobble-stoned patch of Chaka Street in Riga until a mysterious stranger promised her a better life in Britain. Following a plane seat with no leg room and a four pound pot noodle, Kristine now turns tricks on Bothwell Street for a violent Eastern European sex gang that have stolen her passport.

Svelte Svetlana Petrova is in a similar predicament. This twenty year old Russian was a tight-rope walker in the Moscow state circus, until the same Albanian gang brought her to Glasgow to perform sword swallowing of the meaty variety.

Violence is also the reason fifteen year old Senga Rennie works (and sleeps) on the streets of central Glasgow. When her abusive step-father started throwing punches in her direction, she ran away from home. After a few days sleeping rough and eating out of confectionary vending machines that have recently had bricks thrown through them, Senga now performs underage sex acts to make some money, living from hand-job to come-in-mouth blowjob.

And there we have it. Seventeen housewives, mothers and daughters, each with their own reasons for working in the world’s oldest profession. Seventeen women (or eighteen if you include Big John ‘the Lady’ Dalrymple, a pre-op transvestite from Niddrie that sucks cocks up Saint Vincent Lane) that cater to every kink, deviancy and perversion of the 21st century kerb-crawler in Glasgow. Seventeen prostitutes (or eighteen if you count Big John Dalrymple and his twelve-o’clock shadow stubble and cleavage drawn on with a biro) that offer everything from anal to analingus, tug-jobs to foot-jobs to gob-jobs. A brown Lizzy Regina gets your cock sucked on Wellington Street. A purple twenty gets your penis wrapped in a tightly-fitting piece of rubber and thrown up a loosely-fitting vagina. A crisp red fifty pound note gets you anything you could possibly think of, and probably quite a lot more besides. And very often it does. Aye, the sex trade does a brisk trade in Glasgow city centre, under the brickwork eroded by low-pH rain and high-pH pigeon shit. Almost every evening of the year in Glasgow’s Financial District, money exchanges hands, and body fluids exchanges hands, mouths and other orifices.

Unfortunately, not much of the considerable money earned by these seventeen sex industry workers stays in their own hands for long. With the exception of Isobel Arbuthnot (who operates as a self-employed temporary contractor) and the two Eastern European girls that have travelled from behind the old iron curtain to serve up their beef curtains in the hope of one day getting their passports back, a large percentage of the money earned by the ladies of the night around Wellington Street goes to Billy McCafferty, a dangerous Ruchaizie hard-man and pimp with a nose like a black run ski-slope.

Well, that is how things used to happen…