“Bigger Dey Are De Harder Dey Fall”
Hookers are reporting a shortage of clients these days, and they think that dating apps like Tinder are to blame.
Stuff Online reported that New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective national co-ordinator Catherine Healy says that hookers are looking for work because the rise of technology has made easy hookups ubiquitous. “In the last 15 years, it feels like maybe the number of commercial sex encounters are in competition with those sites,” Healy says.
Male sex workers have been hit the hardest by location-based dating apps. Gay male culture is much more suited to casual hookups, and so the male prostitution industry has taken a serious blow thanks to apps like Grindr and others. Still, some report that business hasn’t totally sucked. Freelance hooker “Jay,” says that plenty of men are still willing to pay. “They think hiring a sex worker is a more straightforward and easy process, which gets them what they want.”
Some hookers are turning tech to their advantage by using it to advertise their wares. Others have begun development on location based apps that would allow people to find hookers in their area on their mobile phones. Potential customers can filter their results by hair color, body type and times they’d like to meet a sex purveyor.
One app called “Peppr” helps connect prostitutes and clients in Germany. App co-founder Pia Poppenreiter got the idea while walking through a red light district one evening. “I was walking down Oranienburger Strasse — I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth — it was chilly and I saw the poor girls on the streets, and I thought, why isn’t there an app? It’s not efficient to wait outside,” she said.
The new technology also helps prevent sex trafficking by ensuring that all of the workers are screened beforehand. “We have a short conversation to get the feeling that this is voluntary and they are independent sex workers … We try to ask them — you kind of find out in a conversation whether they’re doing it on a voluntary basis — we ask them what they did before, whether they’ve always worked voluntarily and so on,” Poppenreiter said.