The days are not gone of Ladies of The Night standing on the street corner. “Hey baby, you looking for a date?” The oldest profession really isn’t going anywhere as long as people are willing to pay for sex. Men are always going to drive by slowly with their windows rolled down and streetwalkers are always going to have their place in the night. Right or wrong, it’s just a fact of life.
But the trade is going through an adjustment period. With social networking taking over the world, and Mark Zuckerberg as the acting President Of The Universe, it’s only natural that prostitution would begin to make the transition. A survey conducted by ethonographer Sudhir Venkatesh indicates that 83% of all prostitutes have a Facebook page, accounting for 25% of their regular clientele.
Five years prior, most marketed themselves using Craigslist, but since that site’s “adult services” section was closed down, prostitutes and other members of said “adult services” industry have taken to the Next Big Internetty Thing, which is, of course, The Facebook. Men looking to pay for sex these days are looking for more business-like transactions, which leads them to the internet. More often than ever before, johns want more of a girlfriend experience, a mistress without strings, rather than a one night (or one hour) stand, and eliminating the drive-by situation aids that feeling.
Using Facebook allows “professional” women to be their own pimps. They can seek out their own clientele, eliminate the middle man and keep 100% of the profits to themselves. They can handpick who they “entertain,” set their own rates, and really be their own boss, which is cool given that it’s their bodies that are the products for sale in this business.
While Facebook currently accounts for a quarter of the average escort’s clientele, Venkatesh estimates that by the end of this year, it will be the #1 spot for advertising and recruitment.
I wonder if they’re going to add a new option to the relationship status list – Me Love You Long Time.