Shopping for Sex Still Easy on Craigslist

The slang may have changed, but the game is the same for erotic services on Craigslist

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Aug 10, 2009  |  Updated 11:30 AM PDT
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Shopping for Sex Still Easy on Craigslist

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Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has managed to convince everyone that Craigslist is doing something to stem the sex trade while still raking in the cash.

A woman pictured wearing a bikini and offering companionship by the hour in exchange for "roses" in an ad on Craigslist's new adult section, while a little more subtle in her approach, is probably still a sex worker.

And a sex worker who had to pay for the privilege of posting the ad with a credit card thanks to new rules imposed by the San Francisco-based online classifieds site.

Welcome to the new look of Craigslist's red light district, where the company's crackdown on the sex trade has providers just putting on a new coat of makeup.

Harassed by lawyers and law enforcement, Craigslist promised to delete the "erotic services" section, and replaced it with the "adult" section.

New ads are screened by the company, and the people posting them have to provide a valid credit card number and a nominal fee starting at $5.

The review means that photographs of nude women are now scantily clad, and the fee means more of the ads are ending up in the free personals section such as "casual encounters."

After all, you don't get to claim the title of "world's oldest profession" if you're stymied by petty inconveniences like attorney generals and corporate publicists.

Jackson West figures fighting prostitution online or off has also been plenty profitable for police departments and political careers.

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