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A Quick History: Online Companionship

Professional companionship, often referred to as the world's oldest profession, has a vibrant history. For centuries women and men have partaken in this lifestyle for a multitude of reasons. For this blog, we will skip ahead to the '90s when the internet escorting industry was born. It's an industry that has evolved into a career path for many over the last two decades. The community itself has gone through many changes over the year. Often this is due to changes in law or simply the social or economic climate of the time. To better understand why things are as they are now. Let's go back to the beginning to see how things have evolved.

By the mid to late '90s, the internet was taking off. Names like Amazon, Yahoo, and AOL were new and exciting platforms to explore. The great exchange of information had begun. Forums started popping up left and right as a way for people to share information and experiences in all areas of life. This fabulous new tool wasn't lost on those looking to indulge in professional companionship. There were no advertising sites or social media. For the most part, the introduction happened through a friend, periodical ad, or perhaps chance meeting at a bar. Men wanted to find a way to ensure safety and, of course, a bit of variety.

Adult forums began popping up that allowed men to share information about ladies they have met. Some of these boards started a section for ladies to post a brief ad with their name, phone number, and photo. On the east coast, a site called "The Big Dog" became popular. On the west coast, a board called "LA is Fun." They were started by independent individuals that did the moderating and decided what information could be shared. It was defiantly a boys club. Of course, the focus of discussion regarding looks and whether or not someone was a ripoff. They catered to more of a low to the mid-range provider. Harnessing to the power of the internet had not come about just yet.

As these sites grew in popularity, so did attention from law enforcement. At the same time, the owners of these sites saw a way to monetize the information they were providing. They didn't want to shut down, so they had to adapt. Those that were run by shady characters all together fell by the wayside. Others began to develop into small communities to keep each other safe. The "LA is Fun" community soon morphed into what we now know as "The Erotic Review" today. However, to be able to operate at high exposure, legality began to play a part. This is where many of the terms you see used today evolved. Disclaimers came along referring to it as a fantasy site. To avoid terms that might be incriminating, words like hobbyist and provider came into practice. Acronyms were developed to replace specific terms. The male enthusiast made these choices for the community. The intention was to make it a safe play environment for everyone. At the same time, the ladies were also navigating a new way of doing things. This increased exposure created an influx of new clients, at the same time enhancing safety concerns. The overall tone was safety and a sense of community.

Out of this need for safety sprang the review and screening processes. It became a way to validate someone in the community. Reviews haven't changed much. Their focus initially being on looks and whether or not someone was a ripoff. It was a bit crude and objectifying. The hobbyist determined a rating system. It was something ladies felt they had to play along with as advertising and verification sites were yet to exist. It enabled ladies to cast a much larger net than ever before. It was a way of generating a more extensive client pool.

All magic comes with a price. Ladies found out quickly that not all attention was good attention. Law enforcement put together stings targeting online companions. Being a newer avenue, many clients did not have references and such, so ladies often found themselves in dangerous situations. They created safety groups that shared information about local clients and introduced a standard screening system to protect themselves. That traditional screening system is still in use to this day. The community was growing enough that men were able to accumulate references from well-reviewed providers. At the same time, the community was still small enough for ladies to identify clients by handles and comment on the boards. It felt like all systems go.

As with any good thing, time changes things. Everyone began to look for new ways to monetize as the years passed. Boards began to add a membership component. Those juicy details many sought only available if you paid. In hopes of generating more traffic, "top" lists came to be. By the early 2000s, there were enough reviews to create top 100 lists. What started as honest reviews became a false currency. If you were at the top of the list, people wanted to see you. What arose was a system of bartering for 10/10 reviews, thus diluting the review system. The atmosphere changed and created increased competition between ladies as many strived for lucrative top positions.

Likewise, ladies became more business-oriented as advertising became available and the access to clientele increased even more. By the late 90s, simple selfies started to make way for professional photoshoots and high-end websites. Rates began to rise to highs no one had seen before. It was the dot com age, and people started flocking to it by the thousands finding it safer and more lucrative than past methods.

Fast forward to today. Unfortunately, due to changes in the law, many advertising sites and information forums have fallen away, unable to operate in safety. Ever resourceful, the community found new ways. You now find both companion and client on social media, private verification/review sites, and online magazines. You can't keep down the world's oldest profession. Yet, with this is an even greater saturation. That saturation brings with it different styles of companionship and an abundance of conflicting information. The push to compete and put forth the ultimate online images has its drawbacks. The information put out there is very often intended to attract more than inform. It is a business, after all.

That's why it's great you made it this far. This blog intends to educate you on the difference in terms and characteristics. From career courtesan to hustler or part-time dabbler, all companions are different. A client's needs are different as well. It's helpful to have as much information as possible before venturing down the path. Or perhaps to avoid some missteps from past experiences.


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