Editor’s Update – 05.13.2009 | Craigslist has officially announced that they will closing the Craigslist Erotic Services section.

That’s right people, you’ve read it correctly, Craigslist is the hottest spot in town to get yourself a little “special attention” from a professional or un-professional provider, providing you’ll follow the rules and try and be safe. There hasn’t been legal prostitution in California for sometime, although we’ve been one of the major “illegal” contributors forever. The days of the “street walker” aren’t entirely over, but maybe, on their way out.

Now, of course I’m not suggesting Craigslist is the new Super Pimp of LA. I’m saying their providing a service for people who are in turn taking advantage of the situation. The real danger is, who is regulating it’s content? Is it some web manager somewhere? How is the age of theses so called posters being monitored and checked? I’m all for free enterprise, but this doesn’t feel like a Bunny Ranch type of thing.

I’ll start by explaining how it works. You’ll want to start at the Craigslist homepage. Find the “Services” area of the page and click on Erotic. The next page is a kind of preferences section. It also has some generic “safe sex” factoids and etc. You can choose from several different options, myself being a heterosexual, I’ll choose W4M, which should be self explanatory, but for the sake of the slower folks, stands for “Woman for Man”. Now you’re in the actual posting library, at the top of the page is an area code list. I live in Downey so that’s “562/Longbeach,” there is another interesting little search tool, it allows you to sort the postings by the ones that have images attached.

At this point you should be fully prepared to ride the Craigslist erotic services roller-coaster. As you scroll down the page, blue highlighted postings are neatly organized for easy reading. The headlines say things like “Amy In The Flesh.W4M.21” which essentially breaks down a little bit about them, what sex they provide for and their age. It all appears easy enough and seemingly safe and legal somehow.

Lets say you’ve found someone you like. “Hot & Sexy.W4M.24” is the lucky lady and I want to see her picture. The first thing you’ll notice is nobody actually shows their faces. All pictures have the faces blurred out or are taken from “below the waist,” which to me is a red flag that maybe this isn’t for me. The person has usually written a brief advertisement explaining the price and providing a number for setting up a meeting.

I have to ask myself at this point, I’ve just written down the number and am preparing to call, have I broken the law yet? If I were in a car cruising for street hookers and found a girl, then pulled up to her, knowing what I’m looking for, I could be arrested for soliciting, especially because it would probably be “in that part of town”. Undercover vice cops pull stings like that all the time, have a female cop dress up as a hooker and send her to the track. We’ve all seen cops; they’ll bust tons of horny idiots until the credits roll.

On Craigslist there is never any direct solicitation. Instead the provider asks for a donation of usually 200 to 350 roses simply placed in an envelope and never discussed. When she leaves, she’ll just take her envelope and go. It’s pretty tough to bust a guy if she never says “hey, looking for a date” and then you say yes.

This all seems very scary to me, I just wonder whether the “gift” of the Internet might possibly be returned.