Wait—There Are Other Sites Selling Sex?



As Radley Balko noted this morning, Craigslist now says its "adult services" section is gone for good. But as William Clinton Powell, Craigslist's director of customer and law enforcement relations, explained in congressional testimony yesterday, that just means Blumenthalian bluenoses will move on to new targets:

"Craigslist discontinued its adult services section on Sept. 3, 2010, and there are no plans to reinstate the category," Mr. Powell said. "Those who formerly posted ads in the adult services category will now have to advertise elsewhere, and in fact there is evidence that this process began immediately."

Traffic to Backpage.com, a classifieds site run by Village Voice Media, has sharply spiked this month, according to reports from two firms that measure Web traffic, Alexa and Compete, that [a Craigslist attorney] provided to the committee….

Backpage and the many other sites that post prostitution ads, often disguised as body rubs or escort services, are maneuvering to get a bigger share of the business now that Craigslist is out of the game, said Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of the AIM Group.

Advocacy groups and attorneys general have said they focused on Craigslist because it is widely known and has a big business in sex ads, but will now go after other sites as well. "We must broaden the focus beyond Craigslist and urge every online classified site to take action," [said Ernie Allen, chief executive of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children].

But once Backpage.com and all of its competitors (including those based in other countries) close their "adult" sections under pressure from bullying busybodies without a legal leg to stand on, that will definitely be it for online sex selling, and prostitutes finally can go back to the streets, where they belong.

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Censorship Internet Advertising Free Speech Backpage Sex Trafficking Human Trafficking Moral Panic Crime Children Sex Work

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47 responses to “Wait—There Are Other Sites Selling Sex?

  1. There’s a clear distinction between adult services and a back massage with a “happy ending”.

    1. Are you married?

  2. Is there a market for fractional reserve prostitution?

  3. They’re tilting at windmills: http://solutionproblem.wordpre…..goes-away/

  4. But once Backpage.com and all of its competitors (including those based in other countries) close their “adult” sections

    They won’t, because unlike Craigslist, they’re not household names. “Backpage killer” doesn’t have the same ring to it, now does it?

    1. How about “Backpage buttpluggger?”

      Sounds like a good moniker for Blumenthal.

      1. I bet he was a catholic priest who drove a windowless van before his current gig.

    2. They won’t because unlike Craigslist, adult services will be the main line of business. They won’t worry about their reputations (in fact, any ‘negative’ publicity will be helpful). And since there’s no legal way to force them to stop, they’ll keep going.

      But the bluenose pols won’t really be unhappy about this turn of events because that way they’ll be able to campaign indefinitely on ‘finding some way’ to shut down adult services on the net ‘once and for all’.

  5. I’m shocked, shocked to find adult services being sold here!

    1. I’d like to see the text message history on every member of Congress and the Senate.

      1. Is it any mystery that they’re hypocrites?

  6. The only contract for sex that government accepts is marriage.

    We can’t people entering into voluntary agreements for sex, now can we? God doesn’t like it, it’s demeaning to women, it breaks down the moral fabric of our society, and (insert more sermonizing bullshit here).

    1. Inasmuch as sexual intrcourse and other sexual activity is still legal, have any people opposed to prostitution suggested realistic alternatives to it? Like singles or doubles clubs, or some improvement on them?

      1. That is a very naughty suggestion! Shame on you!

        Don’t you know that sex is dirty and sinful?

      2. I did some searching and found this: http://clarit.home.mindspring.com/frsafe.htm . Also many references to sexual surrogacy. You’d think that more anti-prostitution people would be promoting such alternatives. Instead, I found a feminist anti-prostitution site whose FAQ said that sex for a fee isn’t necessary, because sex is widely available to all who want it and are kind and respectful.

  7. Headline News did a piece yesterday about the Internet facilitating child trafficking, with the example of a twelve-year-old whom a pimp had enslaved, advertising on Craigsist. It seemed to advocate shutting the sites down even as they talked about how the mother actually caught a lead on the kidnapper by looking through the ads. I would think that keeping the boards open would generally help catch abusers (aside from it being good for other reasons) because a major part of enforcement would consist of surfing the ‘net setting up stings.

    1. “Trafficking” is the buzz word, but is it trafficking when the victim has not left the country?

      1. Maybe not technically, and I don’t really feel like looking it up, but “kidnapping and enslavement” is too much effort to say when “trafficking” at least seems to work as well.

    2. Where was the mother when the daughter was getting trafficked?

      1. Trying to get her nightly clients lined up on backpage. Yellowpage ads are getting expensive these days.

    3. Well, that’s the tack their taking now – it’s about protecting “the children” and of course they need to cloak their puritanical hysteria over sex in that sort of thing. Just like the hysteria over drugs is about protecting the children. The fact is and the truth is, these people find it obscene that lonely, ugly people, people with defects, people who can not find satisfying love might use the only option they have to enjoy some physical intimacy with another person.

  8. Too bad the guy from Craigslist is such a pussy. Notice how he throws Backpage and others under the bus because he was more concerned with his bottom line than free speech?

    What a fucking asshole.

    1. I don’t understand what you mean by throwing them under the bus. He’s throwing them the business, isn’t he?

  9. This site sells bullshit.

    1. That reminds me, Max, you need to clean your bathroom, it smells like a WWI latrine in there. Also, stop doing that thing with your socks. I have to wash them, and I really don’t like it.

    1. Oh good. I was looking for someone to come over and launder my clothes.

  10. Thanks for the update. I just added a couple of forums to my website so that people can post there. The entire process took me half an hour, because I messed up the first time and because two phone calls interrupted me. Man, it’s great running my own show.

  11. i hadn’t thought much about this before, but now that I came to think about it, why isn’t there more promotion of sexual surrogacy as something to satisfy both those who are against prostitution and those who want convenient and safe sex? Both sides can light this candle instead of cursing the dark. I can’t believe I’m the first to think of this, so why isn’t it widely promoted?

    1. Because we can’t have people sexually satisfied, can we? Except for priests and government officials. The unwashed masses are undeserving. Seems like this whole thing is like one big Prohibition movement that everyone refuses to give up on.

      1. But there may be one or more face saving ways out of this one. I don’t think many people just want to deprive people of sexual satisfaction, but there are many who object to the particular route of prostitution as a means of achieving it. So someone needs to find out why certain people aren’t sexually satisfied, and come up with a way of satisfying them without running up against the objections that apply in particular to prostitution. It would seem that there could be a good proportion of the total of such cases that could be dealth with with the assistance of sexual surrogates. I just don’t have enough of a handle on the size of the need that prostitution fills, and the percentage of that which could be taken care of with the aid of surrogates instead of prostitutes.

        1. Oh, and a sexual surrogate is not a prostitute, but rather some sort of a professional. The is based entirely on people’s fear of sexuality and nothing else. Suppose the government opened up sex clinics where lonely people could go and enjoy sexual intimacy in a clean, safe, controlled environment – do you really think these sex fearing people would go for that???

          1. I think once you got the assent of people who have other, particular objections to fucks for bucks, the people who simply fear sexual activity would be too few to oppose it. Bans on prostitution, which after all are very widespread, are not the product of some obscure, crazy minority who are just anti-sex, for if that were the case humanity would by now be extinct, all sexual intercourse having been suppressed.

            But why does it need to be gov’t run clinics? That would be objected to by libertarians, unless there were no viable alterantive.

  12. Politians and prostitutes, they just can’t leave each other alone.

  13. Kids these days. What ever happened to going down to your local strip club to find your hooker’s?

    1. To find your hooker’s what?

      1. What are you talking about? Every one know you find hooker’s at strip club’s.

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  17. sure their are thousands of other sites besides craigslist

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