When I was touring a few months ago, and Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage, was arrested, I had about $800 of credit in my account. I started spending and not replenishing because I knew BP wouldn’t last much longer. As of today, I have less than $200 in my account. I have no way of getting that money back, that I know of, but at least it’s still there and it’s not very much, really.
This is a very quick post. I’m sure I’ll think of better things to say this weekend.
a little background
After Craigslist fell, everyone’s attention turned to Backpage. The attention cranked up but Backpage wasn’t saying much, however it instituted new advertising policies that just got in the way of adult sex workers advertising there.
The point of intersection came with the Superbowl in Dallas and the hordes of underage girls being trafficked into the city. Like, so many of them every single hotel in the metroplex would’ve been booked solid with working girls under the age of 18. The Dallas Observer, part of Village Voice Media, made much of the non-event that was the Superbowl (not including the ice storm — which was an event).
Meanwhile, over on the West Coast, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, along with assorted other female celebrities, have been braying about the problem of child sex trafficking in the US. They’ve been raising millions, attempting to influence legislation and are making a lot of noise about this huge “problem” that even they admit has no solid numbers.
The Village Voice ran a story making fun of Ashton’s “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign and questioning the numbers of underage trafficking victims. Ashton took offense and started a Twitter war. He has a scary number of followers who are not sex workers yet consider themselves experts on underage trafficking because they follow his Tweets. Um, yeah.
At this point, it’s faded into dust. Old news. Everyone’s moved on. Except me, obviously.
a personal history with craigslist
I’ve used Craigslist to find living quarters, household odds and ends, sold/swapped items, attempted to navigate the Personals (and still read them just for the laugh, not for the penis pix) and yes — advertised my Erotic/Adult Services on there, both in the US and several other countries.
Any provider will tell you advertising on CL was hit-or-miss. Not only was it stronger in some cities than others, it was certainly stronger in some countries than others. And sometimes the geographical differences were distinct for non-financial reasons: like the number of thick-skulled, hyper-romantics in Asia who confused the Erotic Services section with the Personals vs the crudity of London punters responding to the ads (they were not confused, BTW). One thing never changed: a literate ad with a decent picture stood out in every city, every country. (And then I got to watch how literate the other ads would suddenly become, usually mangling the English worse than their own, original writing.)
It was very much an open market and in many ways, the Internet version of standing on the street. Or perhaps sitting at the bar. At best.
Continuing my 2011 smackdown, please welcome Mistress Matisse and Susie Bright. There is a delicate balance when one achieves mainstream prominence as a sex worker/former sex worker. It’s important to remember you’re assumed to speak for sex workers, and young sex workers look up to you. It helps not to throw sex workers without a column under the bus. Read more
Back in January, I was contacted by a producer from the Dr. Phil show. I was hand-picked, he said, because he liked my other interviews and what I had to say. I would be the only one in my position (â€œpro-prostitutionâ€) on the show. The topic was the whole CraigsList ad verification/sexual trafficking thing. That I currently advertise on CL (under another name), is a plus. Jim Buckmaster was supposed to be there, along with several state Attorney Generals and some women arrested from CL stings. I was told that there was going to be some massive new stings off CL and these women would be given the option of jail or the show. [I won’t discuss that, you’re welcome to draw your own conclusions.]
Well, Operation Innocence Lost did indeed make some arrests. I was ready for the show. Or at least prepping hard for it. I was finally told the show would be recorded March 18 in LA. They would pay for my expenses. Nice!