If Craigslist bans me, where else can I go if I am a hooker looking to troll solicit my services?
Forget streetwalking, because the contemporary prostitute has all but shuffled off the golden pimp chains of the physical world. That’s right, she’s taken to digitally ‘runnin’’ on a much more social ‘track’ (to use the terminologies of the hoin’ game), thanks to the power of Facebooking.
After a year of what has been smartly labeled ‘research,’ Columbia University Professor of Sociology, Sudhir Venkatesh, has released a report stating that“83 percent of the [New York] sex workers he spoke to had a Facebook page which they used to post pictures, advertise their services and set prices.” No doubt a stimulating undertaking.
And if that weren’t enough as the Daily Mail noted, “The research found that in 2008 Facebook helped bring in 25 percent of the women’s regular client base, up from nothing in 2003 just before the site first launched.”
This while, oftentimes, enabling the sex workers to completely cut out the pimp or madame — thus allowing them to become independent businesswomen in a scene described as “less risky[,]” “more lucrative[,]” and increasingly appealing “to middle-class women seeking quick tax-free income.” An appealing job for any, ahem, up and coming ‘social media maven.’
All of which should come as good news to New York based hookers and johns alike as, in Venkatesh’s words, “No self-respecting cosmopolitan man looking for an evening of companionship is going to lean out his car window and call out to a woman at a traffic light.” Instead they take to creepin’ with their pants around their ankles in the safety of their home.
Isn’t it strange, that social media allows illicit sexual encounters to become progressively more discrete even as it filters them through what has become media’s main stream?