Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Price, law and sex travel

When I was doing some research, comparing the price in LA and London, I came across an interesting proposal to solve the decade old telephone booth problem in London. The problem has it's root when prostitution became 'legal' for one girl in a dwelling unit. And if I were to write some sex travel blog, this will be it.

In 2006, UK overtook US in broadband penetration, both about 45% of households (17% by population). Internet penetration is 60% in UK vs 70% in US by population. Mobile phone penetration is 90% in UK population vs 50% in US in 2005. Now it's more like 100 to 110% in Europe and Asia, meaning many people have more than one mobile phone number. Why on earth can they not get rid of the prostitute calling cards left in West End phone booths?

Working girls sell their time a little like airlines and hotels, via several channels. I'm not debating how many do it and if it's a good thing. For one it saves you the trouble of offering specials, when some clients never want to pay the full price again. The phone booth is one such channel. I've been to very nice flats and met very nice girls. Rather than sitting idle in your luxury flat, it's not a bad idea to put up some cards and do some quickies if nobody knows.

In the early day's of internet escorts in LA, they are not thinking of using the internet to save time for the johns with internet access, and save advertising money. It's simply a new channel for the higher end clients. If you want a virtual line up with pretty pictures, book in advance for a specific busy girl for an unrushed section, you have to pay enough for it. The majority of girls who have been advertising on newspapers are rather reluctant to move to the internet. You have to pay more than double; internet ads are more expensive. You cannot get away without pictures, or blurry printed pictures. You have to deal with professional photographs, maybe emails, reviews, write an essay, basically a whole new set of unfamiliar things.

For johns, it's a no brainer. Internet escorts were a lot fewer, charging twice the price for the same quality of girls. You get a full hour, but I doubt if Compartment girl will say that all 60 mins are put to good use by most clients. The rip-off problem isn't solved; it's actually worse because you have higher expectations of the pretty pictures. In short, timing is everything.

If prostitution is somewhat illegal in London, what great tips offs are the calling cards! Since it isn't, local Magistrates aren't prepared to give heavy fines to the street bumps who put the cards up. In 2005, the phone companies experimented with blocking the numbers found on the cards, after a 30 day notice. The theory is that the prostitutes have to reprint thousands of cards with a new number, which makes it expensive for business.

The bill was given up at 2006. Prostitutes can simply buy a stack of SIM cards, one pound each, and instead of printing 100,000 cards with one number, they print 100,000 cards with 10 different numbers with no extra expenses. You have to put up new cards anyway, often daily, to cover other cards that covered your cards, or to replace cards cleaned up by council workers.

It's ugly but rather harmless on the broad busy London streets. But in residential areas close by, it's on the face of small business owners, and their customers. Once they have voluntary neighborhood teams to help with the cleaning up.

Still this is a rather harmless example of legalizing prostitution, while losing control of something else. There's could be more.

Most apartments in London has a main gate and a security system. You buzz the maid to open the door for you. In some Asian cities, they just post the security code on the advertisement, to avoid any trouble of getting through. If you for some reasons want to gain access to some buildings, you can just search through the escort ads. I have been to some nice 3 bedroom semi-detached houses in England, no different from any other houses in town.

Americans are obsessed with neighborhoods. You type in your post code and find out immediately what each house worth. Same thing, you can see where how many sex offenders in your neighborhood map. In CA, it's the land of the Associations. Sometimes the whole city is a giant Association, with population from 10,000 to over 100,000. So you pay the Association fee twice, you own development and the city. And you sign off many of your rights twice. Including the right to leave the trash bin out on the roadside for more than 24 hours after collection day.

I have been to very nice apartments, Beverly Hills and Newport Beach. You can always find out the security code from your friends, or some morons over private mails. Once I saw an ad that my favorite girl came back for the week. I immediately call up the booker, who begged me to see another of her girls. Guys just drove over, pass the gate, and fight for their turns in the parking lot with blocking and other tactics.


niadarkandlovely said...


I have friends who advertise in the newspapers, and depending on which papers you advertise in, it is cheaper to advertise on the internet.

The same applies to magazines, it is cheaper to advertise on the internet.

LA Player said...

In comparing the price of London, I also found out that the UK path to the Internet is somewhat different.

Even for LA, I can only guess the price for advertising as I never did it. Sites like Cityvibe and Eros dominant the market once, kills of the printed classified, and can charge a high price. Now these sites are declining rapidly. The newspapers classified come back with online version with free hosting. Also the reviews sites are more effective as advertising.

Anonymous said...

See my post today about LA Xpress. I'd mistkenly assumed that it had met its demise long ago. How could it possibly compete with the internet? Wrong! It's circulation has obviously increased since I've been gone. There are more points of distribution, and the paper is now FREE. We forget about the ability of different competing mediums to coexist. People are media hungry. They don't all just choose one versus another. They choose to have as many mediums as humanly possible. I think that is the lesson to be learned.