Mixtapes for Hookers


More Craigslist Complaining, With A Shitty Aside
May 17, 2009, 3:19 pm
Filed under: hookers | Tags: , ,

philip-markoff

I’ve been thinking some more about Craigslist getting rid of the Erotic Services section in the wake of the Julissa Brisman murder and Rhode Island robberies, and I’ve come to the conclusion (again) that the Craigslist folks have their heads wedged a little too high up their asses.

Erotic services ads have been a staple of alternative media forever; papers like the Boston/Providence/Portland Phoenix stay financially afloat largely because of pull-out sections with titillating ads for escorts, massages, strip clubs and porn stores, as well as personal ads. (And yes, people still place personal ads in print, which seems quaint in 2009, but I also think I really like the idea because it seems very old-timey and/or blue collar.  Just a few weeks ago I overheard a guy at a bar saying that he used the Phoenix ads all the time, even though he once got a transsexual who, in his own noisy drunken words, he mistook for an Asian.)

Craigslist is different, though.  The website took the standard alt-newspaper classified model–including traffic-generators like missed connections–but didn’t really make money off the ads.  (Here, anyway; I feel like they were charging in big cities after a certain point, but I’ve never really had any interest in studying their business model.)  If the escort ads aren’t big money-makers, then they were never obligated to keep using them.

But eliminating the ads in the wake of the murders is completely counterintuitive.  The e-mail trail is how the guy was caught in the first place; if anything, publicly-visible ads actually prevent violence.  For another thing, eliminating the ads essentially blames the person who placed them–the murder victim–and not the weapon-wielding people who sometimes respond to them.  With the new ‘adult services’ section, the ads are supposed to be more carefully screened, as if the trouble was with the wording of the ad and not the sociopathy of crazy murderers.  But, you know, victim blaming is par for the course when sex workers are involved.

[Tangential personal story after the jump:]

I used to use Craigslist occasionally, butstopped when I realized that 95% of the replies I got were the same four dudes who sat by their computers all day, beating off and e-mailing rentboys with no intention of ever actually meeting them.  One in particular–for the sake of argument let’s call him thousandsofspecials at gmail dot com–had four different Gmail accounts and used to write from all of them, apparently unaware that other Gmail users could see that the accounts were linked.  Another guy called me many, many times, begging me to pee on him and then at the last minute telling me he didn’t have enough money to meet.  If I said my rates were firm, he’d get sulky.  “But I waaaaaaant it!” he’d whine.  Every time.  (Tempted though I was to ask about his choice of pronouns, I refrained for fear of having to listen to him speak more than was absolutely necessary.)

That guy used to put up his own ads, too, and I made the mistake more than once of responding.  Later, another rentboy confirmed my suspicions that the guy was a creep.  In a warning to other escorts, he saidt the guy wasn’t who he claimed to be.  “At least twenty years older than he said,” the rant started, which isn’t all that uncommon in the world of internet hookups, monetary or otherwise.  Neither were the filthy apartment or sense that the guy hadn’t left the house in twenty years.  But it got better: “When I got there he pointed to a towel on the floor and told me to shit on it, so he could play with it after.”

Which, ewwwwww.  I mean, if that’s your thing then that’s your thing.  But if you have really specific fetishes like that it’s fairly common practice to warn the escort beforehand.  Especially when that fetish involves something that you have been trained since infancy to avoid at all costs.  I did half-heartedly try to shit on someone once and failed miserably; there’s a lot of involuntary muscle action involved, and if you’re not sitting on a toilet your sphincter just isn’t going to let loose and drop a dookie on some creep’s head.  In my (admittedly limited) experience, anyway.

So, yeah.  Fuck Craigslist. There’s far better sites out there, anyway.

So


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