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
Plans change. My last Asian trip is this week: Hong Kong to spend Dec 17 with Zi Teng. Then back to Singapore. Then back to Dallas in early 2011. I imagine I’ll stay put for a while, then get bored and light out again. I’ve missed Texas since 2004. The pull for home has become stronger this fall. So I’m taking the hint.
In the meantime, it means I’m re-entering the Dallas market. This has been interesting. I’ve always kept up with a few cities (mostly through Eros, also through a few discussion boards). Deciding on my rates hasn’t been too agonizing. Writing my ad text (and re-writing parts of my work-site) is. How the hell do I explain myself to someone who doesn’t know me? It’s different than advertising in other countries. Dallas is my home. The US market functions on some different ideas than the rest of the world.
As some of you noticed (thank you!), I just turned 35. If you haven’t noticed, well, now you know. I didn’t think much of it, actually. Was just surprised the date rolled around so fast, October 2009 was really only like 2 months ago, right??? (My mom, always good for a thought, cheerfully reminded me that I’m halfway to 70. I’ll have to put that in my ad text.)
What I didn’t expect was the little “ouch” of putting that extra year into my ads. Unlike many and unlike what I used to do, I don’t lie about my age right now. I certainly could — I could easily get away with 8-10yrs younger. But why? I don’t fake orgasms, I am how old I am. I really don’t have a lot of choice in the matter (I’m either this old or I’m dead).
I experienced ageism back when I was a young and tender 33. At the advanced age of 35 I think people are just throwing their hands into the air and giving up (I found an escort today who won’t exchange links with anyone over 33). In Asia where everyone looks very young and the most common escorts are young, it can be difficult to be honest about age (very difficult to be okay being an XXL in local clothing sizes, which translates into a US size 6-8, depending.)
There have been potential clients who have passed me up because I’ve gone around the sun too many times. Then there are younger guys who seem to expect me to literally be a cougar: pin them to the bed, open my claws and have my way with them (this is my style about as often as the planets align). I present myself honestly on my website and ads, yet guys are still often surprised by me one way or another. I look just like my photos, except that I’m not as tanned right now (the French Riviera was good for that, if nothing else).
I’m not a MILF — I have no children. I’m not a cougar — I feel I’m just barely out of girlhood, really. I’m just 35. That’s all. It’s how old I happen to be.