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.
December 15, 2014

Happy holidays and 'feedback'

Thanks for all of your support in 2014. We've had loads of great feedback from both advertisers and users. That has helped us make improvements to the service for everyone. There's still lots of things we are planning to get done, haven't had enough time, but we do hope to put in place some more improvements over the coming months and have some good things coming for 2015.

We really appreciate it every time someone takes the time to get in touch or post a suggestion, comment or criticism in the forums.  Always open to new comments, so don't be shy ;)

Feedback from customers about their experiences

We've seen a big increase in the number of reviews placed by users in the last 12 months. Most are positive, but - obviously - some are negative. Obviously, it's impossible to keep everyone happy all the time and some complaints may not be justified.

Top three tips on dealing with negative feedback:

  1. It might sound obvious, but the best way of avoiding an unhappy customer is to make sure expectations are set correctly in advance. The information you provide on your listing (both the description and photos) should correctly represent any services offered.
  2. If someone leaves a review you think is unfair, then answer with a clear, calm comment on why. This will represent you in the best way and is much better than an aggressive or bitchy response.
  3. If a meeting didn't go well for one reason or another; any one can have a 'bad hair day' or not click with customer; a nice note explaining why goes a long way to showing you do care.
Best wishes for the holiday season and for 2015! Keep safe and well, Claire XX

November 6, 2014

Payments and idiots

We have improved the payment process and we think people who should be able to pay with their card can now do so in many more cases than previously. We hope this is a help and please do continue to get in touch if you have problems or contact the payment provider directly if there is a problem. You do need to use the same details with each card. We would also recommend you only use one account on Massage Republic - not multiple sign-ins. Talk to us if you have a problem or reason to have multiple accounts.

For the couple of idiots who recently tried using stolen card details on the site, we do know who you are - we can also see other accounts you have where you haven't yet tried the same. You are also not getting the coverage you are looking for the crime you are committing -  the listings get blocked. Please remember you are also promoting phone numbers which can be tracked, located and directly linked to fraud. You personally might not get into trouble if it is someone else's profile and phone you are posting, but they will. And in many countries this is not good news. When there is fraud, reports are going to local police.


Other stuff

A lot of the work we have been doing recently has been not that visible. We have been working to make processes work easier at each step, get a better experience on mobile and generate more enquiries for our beloved members. We just passed 4 million pageviews/month. Thanks to those who sent us comments/suggestions, both positive and negative, they always help. What we do know is we are now generating a large number of enquiries to a lot of independents in some cities - was always the goal, happy to get there. We are now working on reaching out to more people in other places.

So - if you know a provider who might benefit from Massage Republic, please refer us. If you're reading this you probably know already; we're free forever for a profile, we respect our advertisers and users, and are working hard to make an online environment which is safer and more efficient for providers and customers.
October 22, 2014

Keep safe online

For the second time, we just had some instances of some peoples' accounts being accessed by other people.

The reason is now very clear: there are some escort sites who may store your password in clear text in their database. Some of them may then use your password to try and log in as you in other places (like for your profile on Massage Republic). They were changing links to the profile owner website to their own site.  These sites are obviously bad places with very bad people running them (idiots, basically).

Any decent site (like us) will never store your password in clear in the database. The full explanation is a bit technical, but I will try and provide the human version. When you register or change your password we take that password and transform it using some clever maths (which I don't understand, but it's the same one used when you login to your bank) and store the transformed password. The great thing is we cannot reverse the math (explanation is complicated) so we can never know your password. When you login, we have to make the transformation on the password provided and compare against the originally transformed version.

Regardless of how safe we work to make things on Massage Republic, you can still be at risk if someone else has your password. Especially if you re-use it on multiple sites. To keep it safe, use a different password on Massage Republic.

If you have any questions on this, please ask. It is complicated and the underlying reasons are tough for many people (including computer scientists) to understand.
October 20, 2014

What's wrong, and what's right?

You know the one thing which is easy?

It's to say any woman (person, men, trans and everything other favour of which is the beautiful diversity of humanity) who ever sells her company / time / affection / body / sex is in the wrong...

The people who say this are mostly middle-aged men (some of which then get caught doing 'wrong' - Ranker highlights 19 politicos doing wrong in the US, the same thing goes for politicians in other countries). Many of those politicians got back in office. Few of the girls got anything but hassle. We are right to pursue politicians with double-standards, but more-and-more people don't care. Hypocrisy is the real bad thing, not what they did or the people they did it with.

We are liberalizing as a global society (just think about it, men can get married to men in some places, girls can kiss each other in others, and generally we don't care), in some countries same-sex couples can adopt; 30 years ago it would impossible everywhere. Today, divorce is not possible is many countries, but girl-slavery has been reduced to increasingly less places (hopefully none soon). We should celebrate gay couples. We should also celebrate people who are sex workers; if people choose the profession. We should also scream and shout when government/police/others start deciding what people can or can't do - they were not elected on that basis. Much worse, are religious leaders doing the same as no-one elected them; they elected themselves.

Many 'liberated women' in the media scream about escorting being a cardinal sin against women. How much do they know about it? How much do they understand about why people do it?

What's wrong?

Everyone agrees on the answer. Co-coercion. slavery, enforced labour, trafficking, and every other sort of pressure that can be put on a woman to provide sex to to customer. This disgusts everyone.

What's not wrong?

Anything else: what a woman - or man or TS - decides to do with their body with a partner. It is the choice of each person.

You might ask about drug addiction or economic deprivation; these are serious issues, but are ones that need to be addressed at a societal level.

Why is Massage Republic here?

The site was started to enable more independent providers to get clients - on their own terms. For hundreds of thousands of enquiries, each advertiser didn't need to pay anything. We think that every time a person doesn't need to be on the street to get business it is one less chance for something bad to happen.

To our users

Thanks for never - in 2 years - doing anything bad. We really do appreciate that, your comments and help. Hope we can make the site even better for you in the future. Big kisses!

To our advertisers

You have been amazing. Advice, help and some useful stories. All these things helped us improve and make a better placed for you today. We love you all, big hugs.
October 15, 2014

Screen sizes / Payments

In the last couple of years, many of our advertisers and users have moved much of their use to mobiles and tablets. We have done a lot of work to make the experience on those devices work well - if you have seen anything wrong there please get in touch.


Payments - we are aware lots of people are having problems paying to upgrade. We are working to get this fixed and hope to do so in the next weeks.


Apart from the above, more advertisers are getting more enquiries than ever. So we did some things right. Any other comments are always welcome! Kisses, Claire.