This year not me, it goes without saying , but a friend of mine, payed a few visits to an online escort forum, for research purposes into what you can learn about society there. And ,with a bit of study, you can see it as a micro cosmos of a lot of what goes on in general society. It is especially interesting if looking from a libertarian perspective.
The first insight one would get from the very presence of the thing, and the large number of service providers involved, is that maybe, just maybe, prohibition might not work. Prostitution is quite illegal in Romania. This, one can imagine, leads to all the usual problems prohibition leads to. Black markets, organized crime, dangers for both buyers and sellers, shoddy ehm product. You know... the works.
Off course, when all this happens, on some level, the market still works. It is distorted, but as it is an expression of human nature, you can’t get rid of it. In these situations there is always need of some quality control, done, as I assume it has for thousands of years, through word of mouth. As a sort of reputation economy, one might call it.
Off course the internet makes this a lot easier and more comprehensive, but with all the problems associated. Like in all cases, there is false advertising, false reviews, and way to much meaningless filler. I mean, if you can’t trust a tripadvisor review what can you trust? Especially if it’s a max/min ratings review, from a newly signed up account with 0 previous reviews. Same applies here.
Reputation on such a forum is needed for both escorts and the reviewers – some of which you can trust and some who you can’t. This leads to the classic abuse of trusted reviewers, asking for free or discount service in exchange for good reviews, with the risk of losing all status if found out, for both escort and reviewer. There is also a noticeable presence of personal taste and subjective preference, which need to be accounted for when evaluating reviews. Like in all markets.
Quality control can also take an ethical direction, due to the major issues in the industry. People are keenly aware of *sex slavery, trafficking and pimping *, and are often actively trying to avoid such situation, as to not encourage these practices. It is often hard to tell, and obviously there are many misses – which is one of the issues with having this underground – but people do try. There is also the possibility of underage escorts, which I need not tell you most avoid like the plague, or better said avoid like you would 5 to 10 in prison, or of potential STDs , which increase the need for a trustworthy review system.
Many escorts engage with customers on the forums, which can actually lead to quite improved services. You see there are plenty of them who are not forced by various bad circumstances to do this, have not been abused, but choose this activity for a variety of reasons, and want to do a good job at it. But this is not the purpose of discussion.
So overall the situation somewhat works. Could have been a lot better if legal, obviously, but it is what it is, and in Romania it is not about to become legal anytime soon. Baptists and bootleggers, you see.
Another interesting insight for a libertarian is that you notice how utterly economically illiterate some people are, how entitled and how assholish people can behave, which explains a lot about the greater world. The most telling of this is complaint about prices, especially if they increase or are already somewhat high.
The standard goes: new girl gets in the business, starts with bit lower prices to get initial customers. Offers good service, soon has more customers than time and raises prices. Supply and demand really. Demand increases, so does price. If one can get higher prices for product, in any field, one usually tries to do so. In this field, you can imagine escorts also want to closely and carefully manage the number of customers, due to many reasons. And really now, if there is one thing one should be able to set whatever price one thinks suitable, it is this, the basic human right to fuck who you want in whatever conditions you want. And if the price is too high, the demand will signal this and it will be lowered. You know, it’s a market, after all. Everything is.
Pretty standard really, you would think. And you would be wrong. Then the complaints start. As if no one saw a price increase before. Especially if there is a noticeable increase in quality. And then the anger comes. There are 3 main types of reactions.
The general it’s not fair reaction. Why does something I want cost more than I want it to cost. Why can’t things stay the same. Why should I pay more. It’s not fair. And I am not joking here, this I exactly what some say. It’s not fair. This is quite silly but not the worse of opinions. At least it is not to aggressive.
The second is anger at the escort. How dare she, the goddamn whore. Who does she think she is, to raise price. I should be able to fuck her for whatever price I want. This bitch needs to be taught a lesson. And so on and so forth. Anger and entitlement and general asshole behavior. Waves of messages full of insults. The works.
The third is anger at the other customers.* If you idiots would not pay these escorts would not charge that much*. Which one would think is a truism. Every price is determined by what people are willing to pay for something with limited supply. If people were not willing to pay top dollar for downtown real-estate, why, downtown real-estate would be cheaper. Which, well, duh. But this is how the world works. People want something, they are willing to pay extra to get it. Who wants it more pays more. And some people will not afford it.
The funny thing is the same people, before the price raise, complain about long wait times. This is what happens whenever demand outstrips supply. There is shortage. And it is solved by, you guessed it, price increase towards equilibrium. Economics 101.
The angry asshole complainers are also among the ones that complain about the quality of services when all others seem content. Well if you act like an angry asshole you get corresponding service. Never get the good stuff, just like those who treat waiters like shit, for example, out of some superiority complex. If you always get bad service where others get good, **maybe it’s you. **
This in the end tells you a lot about the world. People entitled to get what they want, and unlike on escort forums, in the wide world these people can do something about it. That something being give power to some asshole or other who promises to address their grievance. Because it just isnt fair.