Sex workers in Silicon Valley have a pretty good thing going. That is, if you consider selling your body for a pocketful of cash a good thing. The spot on the map where start-up businesses routinely turn into multi-million dollar companies has created a haven for prostitutes. With no shortage of wealthy male cliental, business is booming. But two events which transpired in the past weeks have sex workers a bit spooked.
Alix Tichelman, an alleged prostitute, was arrested last week in connection with the death of Google exec Forrest Timothy Hayes. Some of Tichelman’s fellow sex workers think this could turn out to be very bad for business. One woman expressed her concern, “I do worry that people are going to think that this is something that’s normal and happens, but it really doesn’t.” Don’t you hate it when you get murdered while you’re trying to pay for a little intercourse?
An additional setback to sex workers came when a website called MyRedbook.com was shut down. The site was used by prostitutes and those looking to buy sex as a way to screen each other before actually meeting up. They were also able to negotiate deals in the online forum and felt as though they were part of a mutually beneficial sex community. But the site was raided by the FBI and now prostitutes are having a difficult time vetting their clients. “It’s like sex workers lost their Yelp,” said one prostitute.
Well, the oldest trade on Earth may have taken a bit of a hit in Silicon Valley, but it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down entirely. We’ll keep you posted on the investigation into Alix Tichelman – it should be an interesting story!