WARNING: We rarely feel the need to alert readers to explicit content. But our discussion of the online sex trade requires frank language, and some may find the topic distasteful.
The Economist has an article on how the Internet has changed the worlds oldest profession.
Now specialist websites and apps are allowing information to flow between buyer and seller, making it easier to strike mutually satisfactory deals. The sex trade is becoming easier to enter and safer to work in: prostitutes can warn each other about violent clients, and do background and health checks before taking a booking. Personal web pages allow them to advertise and arrange meetings online; their clients’ feedback on review sites helps others to proceed with confidence.
Labor mobility is discouraging price fixing:
Twenty years ago most prostitutes in Norway were locals who all aimed to charge about the same, says May-Len Skilbrei, a sociologist at Oslo University. Today, with growing numbers of sex workers from the Baltic states and central Europe, as well as Nigerians and Thais, such unofficial price controls are harder to sustain.
The wealth of online data allows industry participants to make better pricing and investment decisions:
going from flat-chested to a D-cup increases hourly rates by approximately $40, meaning that at a typical price of $3,700, surgery could pay for itself after around 90 hours.