My Take on Telepersonals: Live Links and Other Over-the-Phone Prostitution Networking

The Newest Face of the Oldest Profession – A Commentary

I am a wife, a mother, and a former sex worker. Over the last decade, I made my living off the streets of Minneapolis and later, over the telepersonals. As I see more and more ads for Live Links, Quest and Lava Life, I feel compelled to write. It might be a place where “singles connect”, but I think its more of a breeding ground for gathering pervertsâÂ?¦ not that I have a problem with perverts, mind you. It’s just that the ads give people false impressions and unrealistic hope. “Jen’s talking to Bob about cookingâÂ?¦” “Heather wants to hear all about Ricks ability on and off, (wink, wink) the tennis courtâÂ?¦” Blah, blah, blah, yeah right. Gag me. They show a cute girl in a tight sweater (making sure to pan up the length of her body) talking on the phone and encourage you to call. “Tired of the bar scene? Meet sexy singles in your area, right now, over the phone.” You call and what you get is about 80 men who are heavy breathers, barely audible in their attempt to live up to the already advertised “sexy” status, in search of sex or drugs or both.

Check it out sometime. Most nights, it’s the same people. The same people who at 10 pm still have their original recording as when they called in that afternoon with “just got in and am watching the sun set this late afternoon, wondering who’s on the line tonight”âÂ?¦ More than enough to send you running back to the bar, embracing it with open arms. As for the women, I’ve listened to their messages too. They are there to make money. I hear it from both sides. “Are there any ‘real women’ on here?” and “Does anyone want to play The Price is Right?” Same thing on the internet. MySpace.com and Craigslist.com both are filled with ads (Craigslist.com usually has over 100 ads a day in the casual encounters section) looking for $ugar Daddie$, Generous Gentlemen and advertising “poor collage kids – willing to do what it takes, if you make it worth my while.” If there are less arrests for prostitution on the streets, I can only surmise that they have found the same avenues I did.

Obviously, I am not against prostitution. I do however, wonder about how law enforcement are “policing” these new “streets”. I know that sometimes when I’d call Live Links, an operator would come on and ask me my birth date (because I sound young), but how hard is it to count backwards until your 18 years of age? In the 5 years I used the telepersonals, 3 or 4 times I was disconnected and banned from using their service for solicitation. I was back on that night with a cell phone and within a week with a new phone number.

I’m not posing a solution to prostitution. It has been around for hundreds of years and will be around for hundreds more. All I’m asking is that these sites and phone services advertise what really going on: Live Links, a place where you pay to play.

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