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Craigslist Cleaned Up: Inside the New Adult Services

Craigslist cleaned up its adult service offerings to curb the blatant sale of sex online. So is the new approach really working? eSarcasm investigates.

By (@JRRaphael)

August 11, 2009

Craigslist Adult ServicesHey, baby. I want to tell you about the new, cleaned-up Craigslist Adult Services section. You’re going to l-o-v-e it. I can’t wait to show it all to you, if you know what I mean.

Oh, sorry — didn’t mean to enter full-on Penthouse Forum mode there. I’ve just been delving into the recently rebranded Craigslist Adult Services section today, and I guess its subtle and not-at-all-sexual style got a hold on me.

Craigslist, in case you don’t recall, came under fire a few months ago for the sex-tinged offerings in its online brothel Erotic Services section. South Carolina’s attorney general threatened legal and criminal action against the company if it didn’t shut the category down. (Them South Carolina boys, y’all know, they got them some strong morals.) Craigslist conceded and closed the doors on Erotic Services, opening instead a less whorish more moderated alternative called Adult Services.

So is an “adult service” actually any different from an “erotic service”? The jury’s still out on that. But an exposé in the San Francisco Chronicle this week raises questions over whether any less cooch is being sold whether the sexual tones of the ads are any less present now than before. The only difference, the paper asserts, is that the language has become slightly “more discreet.”

Being the pure-minded, not-at-all-twisted people that we are, we figured the Chronicle staffers were simply trying to find naughtiness where it wasn’t. So we delved into some of Craigslist’s adult-oriented ads ourselves to dig up the truth. Here are six excerpts of the kind of postings we found, and why we firmly believe they are perfectly innocent.

Orange Professor

Excerpt #1

“Hot Model giving a Trusting, Healing and Powerful Full body massage

You are quivering in nervous anticipation as you hear the massage oil from the bottle to my hands.”

Look, hot models have obviously gotten a lot of massages, so they know what makes one good. And I quiver in nervous anticipation before lots of good things — burritos, for example, or a friendly game of Balderdash. Nothing suspicious here.

Orange Professor

Excerpt #2

“As I massage you, you softly moan in response to my touch. As you lay there with your eyes closed, you quietly think ‘this feels so incredibly good'”

Softly moaning? So what? I’m softly moaning right now. For some of us, that’s just part of an average afternoon. Mmm…typing is fun.

Orange Professor

Excerpt #3

“Unique Sensual Massage Experience by Gorgeous Friendly Girl!

I am a very beautiful, petite, athletic, fun and friendly young lady.
I provide a very unique sensual massage service that is great for married men who do not want the whole shhhbang but just light, easygoing, safe & comfortable fun!”

No one wants to look at an uggo; especially when you’re getting a massage, that’d make it tough to relax. And married men are under a lot of stress. The “whole shhbang” — you know, going to work and then coming home to do chores — can be very exhausting.

Orange Professor

Excerpt #4

“Classy Mixed Brunette – Available Anytime – w4m

Age: Young 20’s
Ethnicity: Mixed Asian
Hair: Brunette – Brown
Height: 5’5″
Weight: 130lbs
Measurements: 38D-26-36″

Height, weight, and measurements are valid factors to consider when selecting a therapeutical masseuse. Particularly with a very busty gal, some guys might worry that their parts would get in the way of the therapy and make things uncomfortable. It’s only professional to provide that information up-front.

Orange Professor

Excerpt #5

“**$100*~H•O•T•T – Y•O•U•N•G _?_ A•N•D -F•U•L•L_?_ O•F – F•U•N~*$100*

Anything you want and everything you need!
I don’t believe in “bait-n-switch” therefore I can guarantee that what you see is what you get!
Come and indulge yourself into this blissfull fun”

Well, this one’s a relief: The worst thing that could happen would be to see photos of a plush leather massage table and then arrive to find a simpler foam-cushioned model. And knowing that she provides “everything you need” is important. If you become thirsty mid-massage or get chilly and need a blanket, you want to know your therapist is willing to help.

Orange Professor

Excerpt #6

“let”s have a good time…… – w4m

I’m SOOO HORNY!!! I love experimenting!!! and I LOVE SEX!!! I just cant get enough of it!! I will fuck for hours and hours moaning and what ever else you want me to do.”

No one would really write something like that and mean it literally. This is obviously just a euphemism; she probably wants to get a cup of tea and play some tiddliwinks and doesn’t know how to ask without appearing awkward. Plus, she doesn’t even list a price, so she’s clearly not selling anything.

We’ll, uh, investigate further and get back to you.

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