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Broward News. Michael J. Mooney May 22, AM. It's hard out here for the pimped. Last week, Craigslist announced the site would eliminate its "Erotic Services" section and replace it with an "Adult Services" category, which employees are said to monitor for illegal activity.
The change comes after national media attention on Philip Markoff, the accused " Craigslist Killer ," who allegedly murdered prostitutes he met through the classified ad website. Even before Craigslist volunteered to remove the section, though, Florida Rep. Rachel Burgina Republican from Hillsborough County, proposed a bill that would ban questionable like those found in the Erotic Services section -- or in s of New Times or backs.
The bill never made it to a vote, but Burgin says she's contemplating similar legislation next session. Meanwhile, dozens -- if not hundreds -- of local men and women who had been soliciting clients from Craigslist must now find a new stream of revenue.
I spoke with a local prostitute who has been advertising on Craigslist for just over a year. For obvious reasons, she asked that we not publish her name, so we'll call her B. Although she used to live alone, B now shares an apartment with two other women in the same business.
She says they were even combining their erotic and sharing the cost about five dollars per to help save money. Burgin thinks this is a positive step though.
I think it's a good response to what's happened recently, and I'm glad they did it without being forced. Some women don't even know they are being advertised, she says.
But B sees this as a large corporation covering its own ass. The change hasn't stopped B from advertising, however. And it hasn't even prevented her from advertising on Craigslist.
She still has an ad running in the new Adult Services section. But while her ad used to include a of topless photos -- often with her face blurred -- along with a list of websites where men could watch clips of adult movies she's been in, her cost rosesand the denotation "GFE," which ifies that she offers clients a "girlfriend experience," the new ad is just a photo of her face and a phone. In the days since the format change, she says, she's had only one new client.
B's situation illustrates the new dilemma faced by the modern prostitutes. She can still advertise, but it's more subtle, less lucrative, and she knows even that might not last long. And when the opportunity to advertise her services is gone, her choices will be limited: She can work off "word of mouth" referrals save the jokes only, she can start walking the streets, or she can find a new line of work.
Women with kids and rent and insurance bills, and Craigslist wants to see them marching up and down Federal with their asses hanging out like some crack whores? People don't think. Not long into our phone conversation, she got another call she thought might be an old client.
She said the looked familiar. She had to go. One minute later, she called back.
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