Sex Workers Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Their Advertising Platforms

By Annie Temple

When our clients are considered to be breaking the law by using our services, and the laws around advertising are vague and open to interpretation – we are at the mercy of online advertising platforms.

We know we have to use them, and sometimes we love them.

When we’re getting lots of inquiries from potential clients, we know our advertising money is well-spent.

When work is slow, we not only struggle to afford advertising but we are bitterly disappointed when we spend money that seems to get us nowhere. (In some cases, it’s the only money we have.)

So, while advertising is a necessary evil, our relationships with adult classifieds providers can be truly demoralizing.

Take Leolist, for example.

In a very short time, Leolist has:

  • switched owners six times and is now based in Hungary; 
  • raised their prices; 
  • decreased the upgrade benefits (for instance we used to get seven  hours of a highlighted ad and suddenly we now only get 4 hours for the same price)
  • and their payment processor has been a nightmare!

I know sex workers who can literally not advertise on Leolist because they don’t use bitcoin. (Only a select few providers are given the option to use credit cards.)

And honestly, as much as I love hiding money from the government, bitcoin is a laborious process and the currency fluctuates so much that losing money is the norm.

Other frustrating issues with most of the current advertising platforms available:

  • Two-way communication is limited and usually unhelpful.
  • Sex workers’ concerns and questions are considered insignificant.
  • There is a danger every day that the advertising platforms we’re using could be taken down by governments that don’t care about our livelihood or safety.
  • Without advertising platforms we must find clients other, less safe ways, such as through social media, in bars, on the street, and in adult forums that are not designed for sex workers (usually fetish or sugar sites).
  • Prices are ridiculous.
  • We are taken advantage of because they know we have limited options to advertise our services and our profession is stigmatized and criminalized, so we have no recourse either.

This is why we created the Nakedlist.

The Nakedlist offers: 

  • affordable advertising; 
  • respectful two-way communication; 
  • credit card transactions; 
  • crisis credits for struggling sex workers; 
  • and we believe we’ve found a legal loophole so that our services are legal and therefore not vulnerable to outside enforcement agencies.

We are in communication with our local police force about what we’re doing and they support our efforts so far.

We are committed to providing a safe, adult business resource for sex workers.

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