By Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward
Today Craigslist announced that it is removing ads for "erotic services"
from the site. This isn't totally shocking in the wake of the Craigslist Killer panic and the
resulting pressure from state attorneys general to do something. Also,
founder Craig Newmark was never as tickled as he should have been by the idea
that he was the world's most successful pimp (for instance, he didn't like the
question when I asked him in this interview).
The fact is that booking clients online and controlling the circumstances of
the rendezvous probably made prostitutes and other users of the site much safer
than they would otherwise have been—it's a little tougher to google a guy you
just picked up on a side street by leaning into the window of his car. So this
is probably a net loss for the safety of the sexually adventurous and/or those
who like their sex with a little capitalism mixed in.
However, it's not all doom and gloom for the world's oldest profession.
Overseas, U.S. taxpayer dollars are going to an excellent cause: Getting Chinese prostitutes
"The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars
to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job....
“The purpose of the project is to try and develop an intervention program
targeting HIV risk and alcohol use,” [Dr. Xiaoming] Li told
CNSNews.com....“Alcohol has been a part of the commerce of sex for many, many
years. Unfortunately, both global-wise (and) in the United States, very few
researchers are looking at the complex issue of the inter play between alcohol
and the commerce of sex,” he told CNSNews.com."
Plus, a happy ending to a tale of sex commerce in the U.K.'s Daily
News today. Alina Percea, a Romanian 18-year-old auctioned off the right to
take her virginity online for £8,800. She reports "I was attracted to him,
so I enjoyed it":
"Although her first concern was to raise money for her education, Alina was
open to finding more from the transaction, saying that if she should meet her
'happiness and future, then that would be great too'....
'I hope to see the man again,' she says. 'And next time I won't make him
More on sex, including lots of sex workers, here.