Gone are the days when men had to disguise themselves in hats and sunglasses and drive around Durban’s Point area late at night shopping for companionship.
Now sleazy men can browse for potential prostitutes from the comfort of their sticky sofas as there seems to be a whole host of South African brothel websites popping up.
Black, white, Indian, tall women and small women, www.sextrader.co.za has women for all tastes. The website claims to have over 1 475 profiles. It’s an online brothel; a Gumtree of “escorts”.
But the website is perfectly legal and free. The home page reads: “A site dedicated to providing advertising for all adult entertainment including escorts, models, strippers, masseurs and personals… Whether you’re looking for a partner for a formal function, a sensual massage after a hard day, an intimate meal for two, or just someone to make you feel good after a stressful day – you need look no further.”
Like selecting a car online, you first select your geographical region. Then there is a choice of colour, size and full body-length photographs. Most pictures show everything except the face. There are provocative blurbs, phone numbers and location.
Described like a vehicle, Sky from Pinetown advertises herself as “a brand-new 20-year-old vibrant, hot and full of love. To please you in privacy of my own home. Private and travel, 24/7.”
When we called her posing as a potential client she answered by saying: “Okay, sweetie, it’s R300 for the half hour and R400 for an hour – R2 000 for the whole night.”
We phoned a few women, and that seems to be the standard rate. Many said they operate out of guest houses in the Morningside and Umhlanga area, but say they can also travel to clients.
Most claimed to be from Mozambique, Swaziland and Thailand and said they were in South Africa for just a few weeks, until they could save up enough money to go home.
Cumtree.co.za is another site with an “online escort directory”. This site allows visitors to review prostitutes for other users, with the categories of looks, service, price and a star rating out of five.
Even gumtree.co.za, the free online listings site, has prostitutes masquerading as professional massage therapists. The industry term for offering sex is “full house” or “happy endings” on most of the listings. - Sunday Tribune