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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Craigslist vs Sex Workers

By A.J. Llewellyn

The sex worker industry is in turmoil today now that Craigslist has clamped down on Erotic Services.
The way I see it, as long as there are horny men out there and there are men and women eager to service them for a fee, prostitution will exist. Personally, I am all for legalizing the industry to make it safer for everyone. In this economy, you can bet it would continue to be the business that drives our dollar further.
Last night, I had dinner with some friends who brought along their friend...let's call her Alice...who is a brothel madam.
She lives in their building and is actually a very pretty girl of 22. I admit I was stunned by her tale. Long and the short of it is this: she is an aspiring actress from Atlanta. She rents a fancy Beverly Hills apartment she couldn't afford in her wildest dreams and makes her rent - and more - by sub-letting every single room in her apartment to sex workers.
Even her living room has a bed in it. Alice mans the phones (six lines, land and cell) and wields the computer messages.
I asked her a lot of questions and she answered them all. I found it all tawdry and sick but this woman has so many sex workers eager for a safe working environment she is now renting two hotel rooms in Culver City each day with her two most trusted girls lined up to handle more outgoing calls.
She has single mothers who work while the kids are at school. She has aspiring actresses who want to work to pay for 'head shots' (photos) but end up liking the easy money and find it hard to walk away. She has a few girls who just hate men and enjoy making them pay for 'it.'
This was what Alice told me.
It is interesting to me that her most trusted, reliable and most successful worker is a hermaphrodite dom. It sort of makes sense. To mete out discipline, I guess you need to have a bit of discipline yourself.
The clients are mostly clean cut business guys who want massages with happy endings. Some want more. And they pay for it.
A few guys have developed crushes on Alice and she loves money - her words, not mine - so she has caved in and had sex with a couple of guys, for triple the usual rate.
She's covered for sick girls, lazy girls, stoned girls, absconded girls...the stories were endless.
Alice has learned very fast that her sex workers will try and pull a fast one and fuck the client and try and keep the extra money. Those girls and those clients don't last long in her er...establishment.
The only time Alice's apartment is unavailable is Sunday. Her boyfriend is home then and that is their sacred day. He had no idea what she was doing for a living until recently when a client came back and tried to rob her...
Alice, BTW, takes 50% of her girls' income. For this fee, she provides the johns. She provides clean sheets and towels, a modicum of safety since she won't take a client without a call-back number - which she checks - and she also places the ads with the girls' photos. She also counsels them, provides lunch and/or dinner.
She insists on safe sex for her workers and encourages hand jobs as opposed to full sex and charges extra for that. She watches the girls like a hawk and by her own admission, her home is like a revolving door.
I couldn't live like that and I am saddened so many people do. She has only ever had one guy come back and try and rob her, only to find her boyfriend was home and he was not amused. Nor was he gentle in his handling of the home invader.
How much time Alice has for her auditions etc. I do not know. I do know that she will not stop what she is doing since she is making personally, about a thousand dollars a day - that she admits to.
I'm betting it's a lot more. And I'm also betting she doesn't pay taxes.
Believe me, she is not the only one.
She learned this business from another friend who also runs her own 'house'. Over dinner, Alice drove me nuts with cell phones going like crazy. Her girls check in with her each time a john arrives and when he leaves. She keeps track of it all with a crisp professionalism that was frankly, eerie.
She told me her cell phone companies frequently shut her down when they figure out what she's doing with their phones. She just signs up under other fake names and buys a new batch of numbers. She rents girls out for parties and now her boyfriend is their driver and bodyguard.
She told me somebody has already registered the domain name and the horny, hopeless johns will start going there to find cheap sex.
Craigslist is not the villain in this picture. It is a website that has done much worse than list sexual services. I have more of a problem with the ads that target unsuspecting homeowners who find strangers coming to their door to take the allegedly free furniture they own.
And what about the woman who has become the vicious target of a guy who keeps posting her address and inviting strangers over for sex?
Craigslist plans on regulating the sex ads on their site and charging fees. I hope this is a sincere effort to offer protection to people who engage in anonymous sex. I hope it weeds out the nasties. I don't think it will...but thank God it's not my problem, it's not my life.
I just write about this stuff.

Aloha oe,


Jambrea said...

You're right. It isn't going away. It IS the oldest profession. I agree. Make it legal and safer. Then tax it like crazy. I mean the government taxes everything else! lol

It seems to work in Nevada, but I don't know a whole lot about it.

You really do meet some interesting people AJ! :D

Erin Sinclair said...

Nope, sure doesn't work in Nevada guys. I use to work for a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas. He had a large clientele of working girls. Fully 2/3s of them were drug addicts (crack mostly), victimized by pimps and madams, some were barely over the age of 18, many had been "working" since they were kids.

Yes, prostitution is legal outside Clark County (which houses Las Vegas). IT IS NOT legal in Clark County. The illegality in no way hinders or stops pandering and prostituting here and it is a scourge of gigantic proportions. I can't even recall the number of prostitutes when I work for the police department who were carrying STDs up to and including AIDS AND WERE STILL WORKING AS PROSTITUTES. My husband and his security team on average remove 20 to 30 pros a night from the strip hotel where he is a security supervisor, after taking their photos and trespassing them and their pimps off property, but they just keep on coming.

I don't know what's worse those who do the exploiting of sex workers or those who allow themselves to be exploited. Don't think for one minute that if it's legalized, all troubles end. They do not, but that's the nature of this very vicious beast, sad to say.


Jambrea said...

Erin...that is just horrible. *sigh* I knew it wasn't legal IN Las Vegas. I also know you couldn't clean everything up if it became legal, but I guess I had the hopes that it would help some.

There will always be people out there who abuse the system and that makes me sad.

Erin Sinclair said...

It is sad hon, it truly is.


Lynn Crain said...

Very interesting tale. And you're absolutely right. I just wish they would regulate prostitution and tax it because it would help the whole situation.

Living in Sin City, I think that it should be done. We have tons of people going to the legit brothels in the next county and it does make the state something in tax revenue.

This has always happened and always will. The only thing we can do it to try to make it safe and secure for those who decide to make this their profession.


AJ Llewellyn said...

Thanks for your comments everyone...I believe legalizing it would, I hope, prevent the abuses and the addiction problems...but the current state of things is getting worse with pre-teen sex slaves smuggled around the world etc. Very sad.

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