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Coincidentally, it was recently discussed on one of the social media platforms I use:
A thread (discussion) about the difference between advertising today and, say, 20 years ago. I can tell you from personal experience that a lot has indeed changed in all those years. Especially with the advent of the Internet. These are the methods I used during my 20-year career


Spoken advertisement on an erotic phone line
When my girlfriend and I decided to start sex work in 2001, we did not have the Internet. The first thing we thought of was to place a voice ad on an erotic phone line. We had decided to only do threesomes because that was the safest option for us.
We got a lot of responses, but we had to filter them tremendously because most men thought it was free. Understandable, since we couldn’t explicitly mention that it was paid sex. At a certain point we solved this with the text ‘nothing is free’. And that had the desired effect.


Local weekly newspaper
Through the local weekly newspaper you could find places like clubs and private houses in your area (see the ads in the header of this blog), and you could also advertise as an independent sex worker, which I did occasionally when I was working with a colleague, because then you could share the advertising costs. It was quite a challenge to come up with a text because you were only allowed a certain number of characters. Through the adult section of the national newspapers we soon found out what the abbreviations were for the services offered. 


Business cards in a sex shop
The first 8 years of my sex work career I lived in the middle of the Netherlands. There I had a good relationship with the owner of the local sex shop. I came there very regularly to buy my supplies for my work. I got everything at a good price because it was a business expense. At one point, the owner allowed me to leave my business cards there because many of his customers were often looking for “ladies”. As a result, my clientele quickly became much larger and more diverse.

 

I can tell you from personal experience that a lot has indeed changed in all those years. Especially with the advent of the Internet. These are the methods I used during my 20-year career


Handing out business cards at couples clubs and erotic/kinky parties
In 2007, I started attending erotic and kinky parties on weekends. Mostly because I was booked for a kinky or porn show. I soon realized that there were a lot of men interested in me that I would never have sex with for free. So I took my business cards and handed them out on the street to willing men.


Online
With the advent of the Internet, it became much easier for sex workers to find clients for their services. At first there were a few message boards where you could post your ad, but soon a website was created that is still the most popular today: Kinky.nl. I only discovered this site around 2002, while it was launched in 1999. A few years later the company behind Kinky started a new website called Sexjobs.nl. Here it was possible to place various ads. This was advantageous if you did more than one kind of sex work.
Many other sites followed, but they were never as successful. The big downside of an online ad is that you are not as anonymous as you used to be. When I started doing sex work, clients would make an appointment with you without knowing how you looked. Nowadays, you have to schedule a photo shoot to keep your profile up to date. Also a ton of time-wasters contacting you and wasting your time with a flood of useless whatsapp messages. They ask you all kinds of questions with no intention of making an appointment. 


Other ways
Of course, there are many other ways to find clients. I have heard many stories from my colleagues over the years about how they do/did it. I’ll discuss a few of them.

People used to hang up business cards or small flyers in public phone booths. Interested customers knew where those hung and got your phone number that way.

Some made a deal with a few cab drivers. If they had a potential customer in the cab looking for something exciting they would call you. If he delivered the customer he got a fee for it.

I have also heard that gay sex workers find their clients on dating apps like Grindr.

Angel

Angel

Meet Angel! The lady behind the blogs of Tour de Bon Ton. Angel worked in the industry for twenty years. In these blogs, she shares her experiences as a sex worker.

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