Craigslist goes Stag

By Juliette Tang

Let’s face it: Craigslist’s new “Adult Services” listing is pretty much just like the old Erotic Services one, but with a new name, a higher price tag, more inconvenience, and no more nude photos. But there’s a new Web site coming to town that might change the face of online soliciting for good: Stagslist.

Unlike Craigslist, Stagslist publicly accepts its role in facilitating online sex work. Stagslist exists solely as an online listing of erotic and adult services and gigs, with the difference being no monitoring, no charge, and no personal verification. For some sex workers, the lack of verification on Stagslist (Craigslist currently requires a phone number, a credit card charge of $10, plus a working Craigslist account) will be liberating. Stagslist offers greater privacy and a forum to post whatever you want, because they won’t screen or modify your ads. And for other sex workers content with Craigslist’s verification system, who feel that it offers a barrier of protection between them and the outside world, Craigslist’s Adult Services listing will still be an option. The arrival of a new erotic listing in town with the openness and viability of Stagslist will level the playing field so that Craigslist hopefully won’t be the main provider of an online adult services forum in San Francisco. And it gives sex workers the option of choosing which platform best suits their specific needs.

Stagslist goes live on July 9, 2009, at noon. While right now, there’s nothing on the site, I’m interested to see what Thursday will bring.

Full press release after the jump.

“When craigslist was pressured into shutting down its erotic services section, we decided to pick up right where they left off; stagslist is what craigslist was” says Lawrence. stagslist’s objective is to provide a forum wherein adults can post their erotic wants and services safely and easily, with no invasive personal verification or monitoring. Given the past popularity of the now-defunct craigslist erotic services, stagslist’s founders sought to make the site familiar and easy to navigate. Lawrence goes on to say that their counsel is firmly of the opinion that craigslist did nothing wrong or illegal. Title 47 USC § 230 states that no provider of an interactive computer service, such as stagslist or craigslist, shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider, (such as an ad poster). craigslist was in the unfortunate position of having a public image to protect, and it was already under fire from several state attorneys general when the famed “craigslist masseusse murder” occurred in Boston, earlier this year. The company was left with little choice but to abandon the “erotic services” category, or risk it’s more lucrative and less controversial, real estate and jobs postings.

craigslist tried to reinvent itself by creating an “adult services” category, but it has limitations, which neither the posters nor their clients are thrilled about. For one, the price doubled to $10 per listing, which craigslist states that they must charge due to the need to hand-review and approve every ad. The ads cannot contain any suggestive language, nor can they have nude pictures. The ad poster must also provide a credit card and a phone number, both of which are validated. Lawrence said that because stagslist’s entire business is only erotic services, it does not have the public-pressure issues to deal with, and therefore, they do not perform any verification of the posters, nor do they screen or modify the ads, except to remove certain content-filtered language. The objective is to not to limit freedom of speech, but to ensure that the postings are not blocked by spam or ISP filters, or cause the site to be branded XXX, which could lower its search engine rankings.

The stagslist.com website goes live on Thursday, July 9, 2009, debuting in the San Francisco Bay Area, with additional locations opening wordwide in following weeks. Lawrence said that they wanted to launch the site with “a bang” so they were focusing exclusively on the San Francisco area to ensure that both the posters and their customers achieved success. To entice advertisers to propagate the site, they are setting up a call center to inform all known advertisers that postings are free for the entire month of July. To drive customers to the site, stagslist is putting 25 men on the streets all weekend, wearing bright blue shirts embalzoned with “STAGSLIST.COM” in hot pink. They will be handing out 20,000 cards and flyers around local men’s clubs, bookstores and bars. Lawrence adds that as a community-conscious organization, we will be careful to instruct our staff not to distribute to anyone who appears to be in the company of a minor, not to bother any customers of local businesses, or obstruct sidewalks. Dropped cards are to be picked-up along with any other litter in the distribution neighborhoods.

Original post at Sex SF

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2 Comments

  1. It’s good to see others picking up where Craigslist left off. There are a lot of escort sites, but I always liked the daily listings which CL offered since so many of the others are long-term ads, which when I try to contact a girl, they often aren’t available. The beauty of CL, and now Stagslist is tha they list in order of posting. So, if I look at the top, I can be pretty much guaranteed to get my girl!
    Martin

  2. I just checked out that website and there aren’t that many posts. I’ll just stick with the well known sites such as clerotic.org, cityvibe.com and eros.com


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