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August 12, 2014 11:01 AM   Subscribe


 
the internet is transforming the sex trade.

A little behind the times, Economist?
posted by Melismata at 11:04 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


Plus ca change. Arguably, the internet's just catching up with cutting-edge C18th technology.
posted by yoink at 11:08 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


Way to make me uncomfortably feel like I've been handed a menu, The Economist.
posted by belarius at 11:14 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


When my Economist arrived in the mail on Saturday I saw this cover story and thought...really, Economist?...with everything going on in the world, this is your cover story this week? That said, it's an interesting article because among other data points it covers the hourly rate of prostitutes in different cities worldwide, including Cleveland, which must have been interesting to fact check, and how it's been decreasing.
posted by barchan at 11:17 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


Cleveland is where the Republican National Convention'll be in 2016, after all.
posted by mr. digits at 11:35 AM on August 12 [8 favorites]


Wow. $280, same as in town.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:43 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


A little behind the times, Economist?

But there's an app for that! That's exciting, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:57 AM on August 12


Damn immigrants, coming here and stealing our blowjobs.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:59 AM on August 12 [10 favorites]


The Invisible Handjob of the Market at work.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:00 PM on August 12 [10 favorites]


I was flipping through this on my tablet the other day (fun fact: if your public library has a Zinio account, you have a free digital subscription) and I felt exactly as belarius did. Charts #2 and especially #4 are not good for the soul.
posted by psoas at 12:17 PM on August 12


A degree appears to raise earnings in the sex industry just as it does in the wider labour market. A study by Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Todd Kendall of Compass Lexecon, a consultancy, shows that among prostitutes who worked during a given week, graduates earned on average 31% more than non-graduates.
Well that's fascinating. I wonder if this is incorporated into broader investigations of the cultural and economic significance of degree-holding; I've always been curious about how it all works and what the foundational reasons are that degrees have value, since I've run into so many idiots who are graduates.
posted by XMLicious at 12:35 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


A degree appears to raise earnings in the sex industry just as it does in the wider labour market.

It doesn't necessarily mean they may more money because they have a degree; it could be that people with degrees have more opportunities elsewhere and won't take the jobs at the lowest end, or it could mean that the sort of people who take the lowest end jobs may not have the skills necessary to get a degree. I seriously doubt that there are many pros who have their degrees on the wall over their bed.
posted by ubiquity at 12:46 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


It doesn't necessarily mean they may more money because they have a degree

I think the higher end escort/companion work necessitates having the kind of cultural capital (eg making conversation at a fancy restaurant) that goes along with access to higher education.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:50 PM on August 12 [9 favorites]


But what about the men prostitutes? I was definitely curious about chart #4 with that angle in mind.
posted by oceanjesse at 1:06 PM on August 12


I've heard that if you want Chomsky explained to you by two girls it costs.
posted by Segundus at 1:09 PM on August 12 [12 favorites]


I've heard that if you want Chomsky explained to you by two girls it costs. How much to explain generative grammar? Asking for a friend. I think it's a weird kink to have but whatever.
posted by TheTingTangTong at 1:34 PM on August 12 [5 favorites]


Segundus: I've heard that if you want Chomsky explained to you by two girls it costs.

Woody Allen, I assume?
posted by clawsoon at 1:35 PM on August 12 [2 favorites]


I've heard that if you want Chomsky explained to you by two girls it costs.

Colorless green johns stroke furiously.
posted by yoink at 1:42 PM on August 12 [7 favorites]


Way to make me uncomfortably feel like I've been handed a menu, The Economist.

Funny, because my understanding is that the services and prices offered by escorts is colloquially referred to as "a menu". So I think you're supposed to feel that way.
posted by Justinian at 1:48 PM on August 12


When my Economist arrived in the mail on Saturday I saw this cover story and thought...really, Economist?

Almost all the customers of expensive prostitutes in expensive business hotels read The Economist.
posted by colie at 1:57 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


This reporting is classic Economist; a slightly nerdy, slightly shallow economic analysis of some phenomenon in accessible terms. Fits in between the Big Mac index and previous articles on the marijuana trade.

I was surprised at how available and frank prostitution reviews were in the United States. A massage parlor near me recently got busted for prostitution and a quick search turned up plenty of reviews with frank descriptions like "During the HJ, don't be surprised if a slight rub to your asshole is applied". I guess I should have expected such sites existed, but I'm surprised at the public and unguarded nature of it. It'd be like if the local head shop advertised "bongs for marijuana" instead of "water pipes for premium tobaccos".
posted by Nelson at 3:30 PM on August 12 [4 favorites]


That was really interesting. I did my doctoral research some years ago on homicide, and my pool of cases inevitably involved a number of sex workers, both male and female. These ranged from a sex worker who worked out of truck stops up and down a major interstate highway to one who worked for an escort service who had a driver waiting for her when she was killed by her client. It's a little slice of society I don't think I really would have known nearly so much about otherwise.

But it seemed to me at the time that the best protections that sex workers had was their own networks of other sex workers. If someone had a bad experience with a client, word would get around and support would be found from other sex workers (in Victoria, where I did the research, prostitution is legally regulated, but many sex workers aren't big fans of the police). Amongst street sex workers it was usually noticed pretty quickly when someone went missing (which obviously isn't much good for victim, but the number of unsolved suspected homicides of sex workers was remarkably small as a result).

I guess it makes sense to me that these support networks are moving online. And in an environment where an increasing number are essentially independent escorts, having a virtual support network must be particularly important as you don't have a physical one.
posted by damonism at 3:50 PM on August 12 [3 favorites]


yoink: "
Colorless green johns stroke furiously.
"

C G J S....waitaminit, those aren't the lines on the staff!
posted by notsnot at 7:58 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


When my Economist arrived in the mail on Saturday I saw this cover story and thought...really, Economist?

What is the exact cliche about everybody going on vacation in August? If you want to bomb a refugee center or shoot down a passenger jet August may be your most strategic month.
posted by bukvich at 7:12 AM on August 13


Classic Economist.

Story on improvements in nylon production in Taiwan? Illustrate it with a bikini shot! Because nylon.

Story on tragic deaths piling up among Syrian refugees? Find the shot with the prettiest refugee girl in it.

Story on Japan's subtle internecine political conflicts? Gotta have geisha!


I have never seen a single thing in the Economist that even slightly tarnishes the image I have of an editors' den of pervy conceited middle-aged men who drink too much at lunch and spend the afternoon picking on their secretaries.
posted by jfwlucy at 9:14 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]


The Economist with a relatively solid dataset, now that's something new.
posted by elpapacito at 3:24 PM on August 13


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