No one who understands the Internet is going to tell you that it doesn't have its dark places. Hell, there is even a "darknet" that is apparently home to kiddie porn and every manner of disgusting thing a human mind can dream up. But most of it is hidden from public consumption. But on a road trip over the last couple days, I happened to tune into a sports radio station with an ad for WhatsYourPrice.com (I'm not linking to it, but do your worst). In the ad, they straight up tell listeners to name their price for a "date" with a woman. So it's come to this, Internet.
I'm not naive here. I realize you can purchase sex with people online and off, from Craigslist to all manner of porn Web sites, but this somehow feels different.
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Perhaps it's the name, implying we all can be bought and sold. Maybe it's the whole "ladies, join, and a nice man will come a-callin'" concept. Perhaps it's that we know exactly what it is for, but they don't quite come out and say it. Whatever the case, it's creepy and it's probably going to make a ton of money.
See, that's the sad part about this. I'm not a prude. If you want to watch some porn, be my guest. I'm not even necessarily opposed to the world's oldest profession, were it regulated and the people involved there by their own choice and not because of some slave trade or drug problem. But the reality is, there are a LOT of people out there who don't care either way. They just want to get their rocks off and it doesn't matter where or how.
It's why sites like these, so pervasive and overt, make my skin crawl. It's not even the purveyors -- though I certainly hope karma has something in store for them if they are exploiting people for their trade -- but the fact that so many people actually keep these places in business.
Hopefully, my predictions are wrong and whatsyourprice.com finds that people are grossed out by what it offers. But I'm not holding my breath.