Slate looks at life for sex workers 'After Backpage'

Slate looks at life for sex workers ‘After Backpage’

This is an excellent piece on the post-Backpage / post-FOSTA world by . I’ve excepted two bits here, and encourage readers to follow the link and read all of it at Slate.

When Olivia got a text from a co-worker a couple weeks ago that Backpage.com had been seized by the FBI and shut down, she panicked. Olivia is a sex worker specializing in body rubs and domination who is based in New York City, and for years she’s relied on Backpage, a website for posting online personals, to find and vet new clients without having to go through a pimp or work on the streets. “I just told my roommate that I’ll maybe have to move out,” she told me in an interview. “I relied on Backpage because it is really well-known with clients. I tried using other sites without much luck; they were not as lucrative.” She would buy ads on Backpage for about $7 apiece between 3 and 10 times a day when she was working, she told me. She was one of countless sex workers whose presence on Backpage, which investigators say grew from making $11.7 million in 2009 to $135 million in 2014, amounted to a hugely profitable business . . . But what Olivia used Backpage for and what sex traffickers used Backpage for aren’t the same thing: Unlike sex trafficking, consensual adult sex work that isn’t prostitution is not necessarily illegal. But because the executives of Backpage appear to have been breaking the law by hosting ads they allegedly knew were helping people engage in illegal acts, the entire site was shut down.

It isn’t the first time a website that hosted sex-industry ads has been seized by law enforcement. MyRedBook.com, a site used by sex workers, was shut down in 2014 for facilitating prostitution, too. Many of the people who used MyRedBook switched to Backpage; the question now is where sex workers like Olivia will go next.

Continue reading at Slate

I never felt more satisfied or optimistic than when I rode the river in my youth.

2 Replies to “Slate looks at life for sex workers ‘After Backpage’”

  1. Karmafan

    For years on here I have been saying that sooner or later the folks in charge were gonna go after the porn star escort business. The govt. absolutely never allows anyone to make money that they don’t get a piece of. It was only a matter of time. Didn’t help that in this digital age the girls use social media and the internet to conduct their business. Just makes it easier for them to be tracked.

  2. mharris127

    I certainly hope we can get rid of the ultra conservative pricks controlling Congress in the next election. Prostitution should be legalized, lightly regulated and taxed. As for the current situation and hookers, I guess Hollywood and Vine (and the Tenderloin in San Francisco) will be much more crowded with women in bikinis and a traffic jam of guys looking to get laid between 10pm and 4am. Drunk driving arrests will also skyrocket, 95% of the guys looking for hookers and now having to drive somewhere to do so will be two and a half sheets to the wind drunk or high out of their minds. It will be like shooting fish out of a barrel for cocksucking pigs — they can have 100 pigs at Hollywood and Vine arresting both prostitutes and drunk driving johns all night and not even make a dent in the “immoral behavior”. Of course the hookers will eventually find other street corners but if they stay in Los Angeles or the Valley the pigs will be right behind them. I have been told that the City of Vernon was a popular place for hooking at one time — that is quite near to Hollywood and Los Angeles, they don’t have enough pigs to stop hookers and drunk johns so that might be the best place for them to go (I think Vernon might have 30 pigs total over three shifts and 20 of them are probably busy investigating embezzlers and other white collar corporate crimes as the city is almost exclusively business with about 300 residents total and about 5,000 mainly industrial businesses — including the accountants and finance employees to run them).

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