As you've probably heard, Craigslist shut down its 'Adult Services' section this weekend, caving to pressure from Attorneys General and anti-trafficking groups. But Craigslist is far from the only place to score sex on the Internet. Here are six alternatives!
Note: This is not meant to encourage prostitution or the patronizing of prostitutes. God knows it's a messy and sometimes-dangerous business! (Though, honestly, we're fine with consensual sex-for-pay.) But we would like to point out that if Attorneys General and anti-trafficking groups are actually serious about shutting down the Internet sex trade—and not just jumping on a Craigslist panic wagon—they're going to have to look far beyond Craigslist. Many of the newer operations have become super savvy, with tons of features; and they take numerous legal precautions such as incorporating and setting up servers abroad.
MyRedBook describes itself as "the Premier Guide to Escort, Massage, and Strip Club services in the greater San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA."
Selection: Pretty good, if you live in Central/Northern California! MyRedBook offers 415 listings alone in San Francisco 925 in the East bay, 650 in Silicon Valley and almost 1000 in the Sacremento area. (Update: Whoops, as pointed out in the comments those numbers are actually area codes, not listings!) They also have a small selection in LA and Nevada.
Features: MyRedBook lets escorts set up their own profiles with pictures, stats etc. Want to make sure you're getting your $200/hour's worth? MyRedbook features an extensive reviews section, where clients can talk about their experience with an escort. Here, you can learn that San Francisco escort "Minka" ("Ethnicity: Swedish; Kitty: Clean Shaven") is:
Nymphomaniac,Hotter than the Sun, One in a lifetime service, Rockin Hot Body & Knows how to use it!! Inhumanly Hot Body, Beautiful blond with a killer body and a great tight ass!!!
Naughty Reviews is "a guide to Independent Escorts, Escort Services and local adult entertainment…. add your own erotic review of independent girls and make this the best escort site and adult entertainment guide online."
Selection: Naughty Reviews seems to have just got off the ground, so there's not much selection—just 392 listings for the New York Area.
Features: Though it's lacking in selection, Naughty Review has a very clean and robust interface for an escort directory website! If Yelp ever got into the sex worker business, this is what it'd look like. They even have a complex star-based rating system broken into "performance," "appearance" "attitude" and "atmosphere". There's also a mildly entertaining blog with posts like "Why Getting Smashed with a Stripper Is Less Fun than the Dentist." and "The Priciest Poon". (Hey, didn't we write a post like that one?)
Backpage is a Craigslist clone (owned by Village Voice Media) with a robust "adult" section.
Selection: Very Good! Today alone there have been around 700 posts made in the New York City escorts section. (Who knows how many of those are scams or duplicates.)
Features: Backpage was one of the first classified sites to start charging for adult ads, which means its been a bit more successful than most in keeping illegal/underage content out.
Selection: Good. In the New York area, there are 3344 posts (this includes escort and massage services.) And a banner informs us that 94 members are "currently logged in and available for immediate booking!" Convenient.
Features: when they say "feature driven," they're not kidding! CityVibe allows you to punch in an address and pull up a Google map of all the incall escorts in your area. (For those who are not used to the lingo, "incall," means you get to go to their places.) And if an escort is currently logged in, a little icon shows that they're available for "immediate booking" via text message, sort of like a taxi cab light.
ErosGuide says it's "The Ultimate Guide to Escorts and Erotic Entertainment" (But don't they all say that?).
Selection Good. There are more than 1000 listings in the NYC area.
Features: ErosGuide puts an emphasis on search: You can filter by everything from "All Natural" to "Ebony," "XXX Stars" and "College Girls." They also don't shuttle off transgendered escorts to a ghetto on the site, like others do, which is nice. But negative points for all the pop-ups. We're not looking for hookers in 1998, here.
There are a ton of male escort services online, too. Men4RentNow is "the fastest way to meet local escorts and masseurs right now."
Selection: In New York, there are 396 listings. (Though if you live anywhere but NYC or LA, good luck.)
Features: Men4RentNow has many of the same features as straight escort services, but with catchy, gay-themed names! Instead of "favorites," they offer a "stud list": "Keep track of your favorite studs by adding them to your Stud List. See when your favorite Studs are online now!"
Then there of course countless independent escort services, small classifieds websites, etc.—some people even sell sex on eBay.