October 26, 2015

Politicians and Hookers

It seems to be some constant theme - the people who complain most vocally about the escort industry also get into the papers about it... This is obviously a self-fulfilling prophecy as a politian caught paying for time (with a hint of sexual sevices) will get into trouble. Unless they are Silvio Berlusconi, which might have meant several re-relections in Italy...

[not to say anyone in the images above, including Sr. Berlusconi would ever be involved in anything to do with this post. In fact, we are 'sure' that those re-elections were purely on merit and based on his performance in office and the policies presented in his manifesto].

Public debate and legislation about the offering of sexual services for money is basically dead, stupid and insane. The problem is the following:
  • Some individuals choose to provide their services because it suits them to do so compared to other economic options.
  • Some individuals enjoy their profession (and some really enjoy it, just because).
  • There are others who offer their services because of real financial hardship, whether from circumstance or addiction. This is a really tough place for them. The only thing we can offer is a safer way of offering services. Society, at this point, is responsible to help with a safety-net or medical assistance with addiction.
  • There are individuals (mostly young girls from less-developed countries) which are exploited for this purpose. This is plainly wrong - pretty evil - and we work to make sure they cannot be advertised on the site and provide feedback mechanisms to signal the problem.
The public debate is always about trafficking, people enslaved into prostitution. This is unhelpful and does not address the real problems.

Prohibition is not a solution. Real, effective policies to combat human-slavery, addiction and social exclusion are solutions. Dump the headlines and go to the roots of the problem in society. This is an appeal to any politician or journalist - keep it real; and don't let us find out you did something bad later... Starting with 19 Politicians Who Were Caught with Prostitutes.

Honesty in public debate is a starting point. Freedom of choice is a natural right. 
July 3, 2015

What do you realy want?

We really value the comments and suggestions we have had from users and advertisers over the last couple of years. Especially when something on the site made you feel like this...

We have always tried to get anything broken fixed pretty quick over time and have done a decent job to make sure that happened.

What we need now are your suggestions. What pisses you off? What do we need to add? What could work better? We are listening and will take every comment into account as we try to improve the site. Send feedback here.
June 3, 2015

Who decides? What's illegal?

Pretty much everyone agrees that forcing someone to provide sex is a bad thing. Modern slavery is still there and is a disgusting as 'old slavery'.

For good or bad reasons, many people choose to provide sex for money. We don't think anyone has the right to judge that decision.

Criminalisation has been proven to make things worse for working girls and boys. Why would any modern country want to do this? In Northern Ireland it was recently made illegal to sollicit services. The only thing studies have ever shown is that a legal framework where providers can operate freely and pay tax is the only one where violence is lower, trafficking is lower and the individuals have the most choice.

What do you think?

February 26, 2015

What makes a great listing?

We have been looking at some data recently to better understand what makes one listing more effective than another. We now want to share some of the insights. First, we're going to bust a couple of myths:

Myth 1: it's only about the photos

While there is a correlation between stunning photos and the number of enquiries, this is not the only factor. We don't allow multiple listings on the site, but we do have the data between when people have different listings and photos. In some cases the more homemade or real (but good quality) photos performed better than the studio shots. Video clips have also shown an improvement in contact rates.

Myth 2: the 'models' get all the enquiries

The most surprising thing we found was when doing an experiment with users asking them to judge interest based on just the images. When we compared this to the real-world results, we found that there there were many listings which got a low rating based on photos, but a very high rate of enquiries. We ran the experiment again using just descriptions and found the answer, the text is very important when it comes to getting enquiries.

What are the users saying?

Some really don't care, others are absolutely obsessed with cover-page beauty. But it turns out the big majority care a lot more about what potential experience they will get. It turns out that the initial evaluation is from what an advertiser says in their description, even down to the tone and how the text feels. Positive terms included: 'friendly', 'funny', 'approachable'. Just putting GFE is not enough to convince someone it will be like that.

The other bit of feedback was about how people answered questions and reacted to reviews. When an advertiser didn't answer a simple question and just wrote 'call me' or reacted in a very tough way to a review which didn't seem aggressive, there was a negative evaluation.

How to manage your listing?

  • Take a look at your description. Does it really explain you and the services you provide? Try to provide a personal touch. A cut and paste which looks the same as everyone else is not the best way to get customers. Of course, it is quicker, but our data shows a quality text can generate from 3 times to 11 times more enquiries (when the images, price and other variables are similar).
  • If you chose to answer a stupid question publicly - instead of clicking 'ignore' or 'answer privately' - be aware the way you do so will also influence other users' reactions.
  • If you get a negative review, deal with it sensibly. Yes, he or she, might be an idiot, dangerous (as hopefully you know there is another way to flag that), or just have unrealistic expectations. Maybe you had a 'bad hair day'.  If you think it is unfair, say why very simply, don't attack. Other users will make their own opinions based on the quality of the listing and response to feedback. Listings with both positive and negative reviews (with sensible reactions) actually seem to be more popular than those with a couple of very positive reviews.
Lastly, the most important thing is to think about the type of client you want and make sure your public profile will appeal to them. According to our data, a little thought and work can make a big difference to the quantity and quality of enquiries.