While much of the initial post-FOSTA/SESTA panic has subsided, the adjustment has been arduous and is ongoing. The landscape of the industry has changed dramatically. The divide between providers and clients has grown. This divide was created with intention by the morality police (I’m looking at you Swanee Hunt.). Previously, providers could chat with prospective clients on any number of boards prior to meeting them. You could get a feel for a client’s personality – were they lighthearted? Funny? Perhaps they had a particular political bent? Or maybe they were earnest and pensive…? How did they interact within the online community? Were they considered a member in good standing? Were other providers weary of them? What kind of reviews did they write? Now the opportunity to get to know prospective clients in this way is gone. The anti’s scream this is increasing safety. Really? It seems that it does just the opposite. But, then, what do I know? I am only a member of the impacted community not a member of the morality police.
Interestingly, for years now, groups like Polaris and Demand Abolition have been vociferous in claiming Backpage was the root of all evil. Not only was Backpage trafficking millions of 12-year olds EVERY SINGLE DAY* but it also regularly drove drunk and killed puppies on weekends. Did you ever wonder where Osama bin Laden was hiding all those years? Backpage. Here’s the thing: they won. Backpage is no more. Why are they still all screaming? Shouldn’t it be rainbows and unicorns all day long?? It’s very confusing.
Also confusing – for both providers and clients – is where to find each other. With numerous established sites closing down and new slapdash sites popping up, the terrain is chaotic. Muddling through can be bewildering and time consuming. Unfortunately, I don’t have much in the way of easy answers here. Time will tell which sites survive and which go the way of CL personals. As of January 2019, P411 is modifying their contact protocol and eliminating ads. Eccie.net went dark for a couple of months but is now back. Slixa.com raised their ad prices…. ummm…. a lot. Which, in a turbulent time for many SWers, can make advertising there prohibitive. Eros has, so far, been steady. There are too many new sites that have popped up in the last ~three months to possibly name them all here.
Here’s the thing: we aren’t going anywhere. No matter what bogus Constitution-defying bills are passed, the erotic service industry will survive. Anyone with even the most basic grasp of economics (supply and demand, anyone?!?) knows this to be true. We will evolve and adapt. We will continue to thrive.
* NO ONE should coerced into this industry. Anyone that is in this industry (at any age) through force, fraud, or coercion should be helped. Immediately. Having said this, according to the 2016 census data, there are ~12 million 12-14 year olds in the US. If half of them are boys, that leaves ~6 million girls. It sure seems improbable that *millions* of a total of 6 million girls are trafficked. Every. Day.