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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Erotic Services Just Got More Expensive

posted by on November 6 at 12:09 PM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

Craigslist announced today that they will begin charging a fee for those who post ads in the “Erotic Services” section.

The Associated Press, in their story released today, has quotes from such heavyweights as Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

What about those who really matter? The ones most directly affected by this decision?

“Thatís crap,” says a w4m who claims to be of “Dark Brown Complexxxion.” She sounds irritated. “Well, I guess if they do they will start losing people. I donít feel like I should pay for something that I once had for free.”

Someone in our office seconds that argument.

Is this woman with a dark brown “complexxxion” alone in her frustration? I called up the number for an ad labeled: “FROM DUSK TO DAWN I GET MY F**CK ON - w4m (TACOMA).”

“Itís already bad enough that they got cops on there doing stings on girls. I wouldnít mind if they could guarantee that cops wouldnít use the site,” the erotic service provider/poet says. Her ad also claims that there will be “GUARANTEED SATISFACTION.” I couldn’t resist. How can my satisfaction be guaranteed when she doesn’t even know me?

“Cuz my shit’s good,” she claims.

Not satisfied, I looked for another service provider to call. “Looking For Excitement Call Me… - t4m - 27 (Tacoma)” caught my eye.

I asked the person who picked up the phone what they thought of Craigslist’s announcement to start charging a fee. First, they said, “no comment.” Then, perhaps also experiencing dissatisfaction, they continued, “Iím always going to use it. I donít care. I have money.”

Weary from all this reporting work, my eye fell upon one last ad: “RELAX WITH A REASONABLE RATE!! - m4m - 29 (Capitol Hill Area).”

I asked the erotic service provider about the new fee. “I think thatís kind of funny. I guess thatís cool. At the same time they will have to stop using the flagging system. In order to be totally fair, if you are going to be charged for it, it needs to be more protected.” He doesn’t know if he will continue to use the Craigslist site if a fee is required. “Itís not a steady line of work and there are too many hassles and issues.”

RSS icon Comments


I didn't even know there was "erotic services" on craigslist. I figured everybody used the personals, like 'men seeking women' or 'men seeking men.' What's the difference? Do those in the "erotic services" area charge for their service? Well why would you do THAT when you can just go get it for free?

Posted by hwhut>? | November 6, 2008 12:56 PM

The Reality of the Recession: If people are buying their whores from Craigslist, we must be really close to the bottom. Ewwww.

Posted by Julie Russell | November 6, 2008 12:58 PM

I guess the regular CL personals are just going to get even more flooded with hookers now than they were before.

Posted by Nixor | November 6, 2008 1:02 PM

@1: There are some people, even on Craigslist, who can't get it for free.

Posted by Aislinn | November 6, 2008 1:08 PM

Marginalizing illicit groups and pushing them into dark corners usually works great for helping the exploited!

Can we simply start calling cops the Crime Corporation? Our profit margins are flagging!--we need to generate more crime!

Posted by lusk | November 6, 2008 1:08 PM

HA! Whores are funny.

Posted by unclaimedfreight | November 6, 2008 1:28 PM

amusingly, @5 for the win.

Times are tough, and downsizing of luxuries is in.

Conspicuous consumption is out.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 6, 2008 1:31 PM

The downturn is hitting sex workers pretty hard, so to speak. Saw a recent story on the Nevada brothels getting pinched these days. They're having to raise their profile to try to make up for lost income, which puts them a bit more in peril. Craigslist is correctly anticipating/experiencing a boom in adverts from them, and no doubt needs to take measures like this to keep them off the radar of every DA seeking reelection by going after these second-easiest of targets. But hey, Stranger, look on the bright side - if Craigslist starts charging, it keeps your rates competitive for your booty-photo page at the back. Yay!

Posted by tomasyalba | November 6, 2008 1:31 PM

Wish they'd charge for ALL their listings. Then maybe newspapers wouldn't be dying so quickly! Damn you, Craigslist!

Posted by Jane | November 6, 2008 1:40 PM

What is with this sense of entitlement? Where else will let anyone advertise for free? Well, there's telephone poles if you want free advertising...

Posted by sepiolida | November 6, 2008 1:45 PM

BTW, I think they will start charging for everything at some point. It's a brilliant business strategy really. Build up the customer base, then start charging. If everyone who posted "for sale" gave them just one dollar they'd be rolling it in!

Posted by sepiolida | November 6, 2008 1:47 PM

You know, Obama can make everything free by executive order.

Posted by mint chocolate chip | November 6, 2008 2:10 PM

(1) A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the second degree if he knowingly:

(a) Profits from prostitution; or

(b) Advances prostitution.

(2) Promoting prostitution in the second degree is a class C felony.

West's RCWA 9A.88.080

Go to jail, Craig. Go directly to jail.

Posted by Algernon | November 6, 2008 2:38 PM

#13 - when I read that, I sort of wondered what the legal ramifications could be. Same goes for the ads in the weeklies. Is there a loophole here, or does just no one care to pursue this?

Posted by Dougsf | November 6, 2008 3:08 PM

"I don’t feel like I should pay for something that I once had for free.”

Hmm... like sex?

Posted by munchkin | November 7, 2008 9:15 AM

"I don’t feel like I should pay for something that I once had for free.”

Hmm... like sex?

Posted by munchkin | November 7, 2008 9:15 AM

While Craigís List is definitely a major resource for escorts to advertise their services, there are a number of other sites out there that provide free advertising to escorts. The only thing that will happen if the government sinks its teeth into Craigís List is that sexual providers and those that use their services will move increasingly to other sites that provide something similar. As a supporter of prostitution myself, I would point you all towards such sites as,, or, just to name some of the better known alternatives out there. These sites allow sexual providers to post ads for free and for ďcustomersĒ to contact them directly. Prostitution is the oldest profession because there has always been, and there always will be, a demand for it. The internet simply provides too many ways for prostitutes to stay in business and these latest attempts to thwart it will simply cause a movement in traffic from poor Craigslist to the sites I mentioned earlier.

Posted by Jacob | November 7, 2008 11:23 AM

I think that while yes there should be some restricyions on craigslist its unfair to the many providers that arent "full service" that offer sensual massages to have to pay a fee that can only be paid with their credit cards so thier names and addresses can be given to the police. A couple of coked up babydolls get into fights with their pimps/drug dealers and everyone should pay the price for thier problems? So if your co-worker is a drunk/crackhead should you get into trouble to? So does that make craigslist their pimp?

Posted by mamirica | November 8, 2008 8:20 PM

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