Craigslist vs CityPages Escorts

Warning: Less safe for work than a typical Deets post, but that normally doesn’t stop you from surfing from work, so why should this? You’ve been warned.

Who profits more from prostitution: Craigslist, who allows escort to advertise for free, or CityPages who charges escorts to run ads. Melissa Gira Grant is reporting at Valleywag that the Connecticut attorney general is trying to shut down the erotic services section of Craigslist. While that sounds reasonable considering that it’s highly unlikely that anything legal is going on in that area of Craigslist, the response from Craigslist is also quite reasonable where they suggest that at least they’re not PROFITING from the display of prostitution ads, unlike old school YellowPages and alt-weeklies like CityPages.

I decided to see if there was a local angle on this that would help illustrate the point. Here’s what I found.

Brown Sugar Baby

Brown Sugar Baby (aka Sunshine) is a hard working local girl who’s been doing some advertising on Craigslist.

Hershey Kisses on Backpage

Hershey Kisses (aka. Sunshine) is a hard working girl who’s been doing some advertising on the CityPage’s online classifieds known as

Is it just me, or do Brown Sugar Baby and Hershey Kisses look familiar? Take as much time as you need to compare.

Googling Sunshine and Sunshine’s phone numbers brought back two results:

Google Results

Would you look at that. Craigslist and Backpage both return results for the same number.

Want to place an ad on Backpage for Sunshine? Here are the steps:'s Fees

It costs $5 to post an ad on Backpage in the “minneapolis / st paul female escorts” category, yet it’s free to place the same ad on Craigslist.

I’m sure a few of you are thinking, “Yeah right, Backpage, is associated with CityPages? Oh, Please.” Well, here is CityPages’ take on it:

Citypages = Backpages

It sounds like the CEO of Craigslist has a point. At least Craigslist isn’t making money off prostitution while our local alt-weekly is.

In fact, CityPages goes as far as providing incentives to escorts to get other escorts to advertise their escort services in their classifieds:

Prostitution Referrals

I don’t know if there is really a winner here, but I have a feeling that it’s not CityPages.

43 thoughts on “Craigslist vs CityPages Escorts”

  1. I’d have to say the prostitute that only spends $5 on advertising for a service that according to other craigslist ads runs between 100 to 200 dollars an hour is the one that’s really profiting.

  2. For me, nothing will replace the escort ads in the print edition of CP. “Hot TS, 36DD with an 8 inch surprise” Oooh! I love surprises. I’ll bet it’s a hardcover copy of Great Expectations.

  3. I assume CityPages content gets proofed, so you’re really paying for a “second pair of eyes” on your ad before it goes live. Haha. And that begs the question, whose crappy job is that?

  4. i hate every inch of the craig’s list “personals” sections. there’s a lot of illegal shit that goes on in the “casual encounters” section, too. it’s not just the “erotic” section that houses illegal activity.

    i’d like to see it all go away. not because i’m a puritan or hate the thought of prostitution, but because it’s ruined many relationships and lives during the course of it’s history. i know first hand.

  5. I personally think cl should stay with the erotic section because most of them girls do this for a living. In most cases there isn’t even any sex involved. It’s just 2 people getting together for some company in the privacy of there own home. Some of these girls have been doing this all they’re life because they can’t get any jobs,that’s all they know. If they close down the erotic section are they going to help these girls with a job and have them get back on there feet?? No,I didn’t think so.

  6. Hello to all,
    I would just like to comment on some of the things that are being said here. Has anyone read the ad’s that this reporter is bashing? The author is trying to make it look like she is two different people when in gact the name ” call sunshine” is the same. Good reporting there ;(
    Craigs List does charge for ads, they are not proofed or altered the mistakes stay the same. Craigslist & Backpage have both taken on a lot of puplicity because people are not safe, and females on there do not properly do their research. So all in all the website is deemed bad, not the people on it.

    For the CL hater, CL didn’t ruine someone’s marriage or break them up! It’s called free will. If someone isn’t happy they go look some where else. The website didn’t call the unhappy person, the unhappy person went looking and made a call. Call me what you want but the facts are there, plain as the nose on your face. No one makes someone cheat, or breaks up a relationship. Sometimes things don’t work out and you can’t blame the working girl for something that you could of done.

    Please people I urge you to think before you act, and insert your foot into your own mouth. Can anyone say Awww??? Give men their freedom to choose who they want and when they want! Relations between two people happen, no matter if it’s on the internet, in a bar or even paid for. What females choose to do with their bodies is up to them. And where men choose to seek these females out to satisfy their needs is up to them. Which brings me to one final point. No one is forcing you to seek out relations or causing you to pull up websites and look for females, the information is there only if you, the person goes looking for it! So stop and think about it the next time you go to bash someone for what they do. Is it them that has the problem, or is it you being unhappy and seeking things to complain about?
    The Working Class 😉 😉

  7. Hi Brandi. Thanks for the comment. This post was written back in April 2008, so before Craigslist started charging for ads in their adult services category.

  8. thank you Brandi…im a hoe on backpage and would like to say Brandis right…them guys come to me…they call me…they knock on my door…i put my info out there just like if you like the advertising then you go get it…sooo before you hate on us think about what you really hate…not us. And by the way them guys that call me are sometimes the coolest guys in the world…i wouldnt trade them for anything…they provide for my son and me to eat..shower…sleep in a house..and have a car to your bashn of these websites are not going to do stop prositition so quit giving a fu^k about us and mind your own business…

  9. Well said, Brandi. In fact, if prostitution were legalized a lot of the problems associated with it would be eliminated. Medical exams would be required. Fraud, robbery, etc would either be eliminated or vastly reduced. Just like prohibition; making something illegal does not make it go away. It just makes it more difficult to control.

  10. It’s you, Brandi. You and all these other “women” out there trying to justify breaking the law and not giving a damn about who gets hurt by what you do – as long as you get your money.

    Here’s an idea – GET A REAL JOB. Not one that only requires you to sit on your a$$ till it’s time to lay on your back. A job that doesn’t have dire consequences for innocent people. How effing pompous of you to blame the wife/girlfriend for their men seeking you out! “Sometimes things don’t work out and you can’t blame the working girl for something that you could of done.” Oh really? How can you throw out that blanket statement? I suppose it’s the kids fault too, right? If they’d been better kids, daddy wouldn’t have strayed into your bed. If they’d behaved, they’d have food – but cuz they were bad – he felt justified to spend that money on your fat a$$ and your poor bastard children. You AND these men who seek you out are both SELFISH, SELF SERVING, BOTTOM FEEDERS. I hope Karma finds you soon – and kicks the crap out of you.

    You wanna screw men? Go for it! But do it legally – and with men who don’t have women and kids at home believing all is well – till they find out it isn’t.

  11. honestly i think that you all need to get over this little power struggle that youre going through. who cares what these females do. its their life not yours. they have to make a living some how so stop judggin them because in all actuallity they make more money than doctors and lawyers. they really make more money in two days than an average man gets on his paycheck every two weeks that makes $10 an hour. i dont want to hear anymore on this subject. LEAVE THOSE GIRLS ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. First Craigslist, now Backpage! Censorship will not stop girls from working or guys from seeking them out. I love capitalism, and say leave them alone and let them do their jobs! They are not walking the streets, they have found a way to do it discreetly, in private. I just don’t see how that’s anyone’s business. If you husband is cheating hold him accountable, he is the one who made the commitment to you, not the working girl. She is just doing her job, maybe if you were doing yours better, he woudn’t be knocking on her door.

  13. Wow,
    I can’t believe that people are still responding to this post. Now I dont feel so bad for doing so.
    To any one bashing the femlaes who do this, youre in a sad unrealistic little world in your head. Prostitution is the oldest profession. 99% of men cheat. How can you blame a female for ruining your relationship? Men like sex plain and simple. How many times have you fucked your man this week? That is why prostitution exists.

    Think about it this way. You should be thanking prostitutes. All those nights when your man is begging you to suck his cock, and youre making a million excuses, its the prostitute who is doing it for you and abating the tension in your mans life. If you gave him pussy only when you pleased he’d probably get so backed up he’d punch you in the face and divorce you and you’re marriage would be over anyway. Prostitutes allow for your husband to appreciate the good things in you because if you didnt give him pussy better believe he’d hate you?

    How do I know? I ask all my married customers (99%, take it from me), and they all say they hate their bitchy wives who dont fuck em. Simple…

    Any one who has a regular job is selling their damn body, skills, and labor. Just as we do. Lingerie models dont get slack about parading their pussy print in teeny underwear. If men didnt like sex then lingerie models wouldnt exist. We wouldnt care about underwear. We’d be content with grandma drawers because we wouldnt have to impress men.

    Its an “adult” job. Its not the best, its not the worst. Be happy that a lot of women who would have been on welfare are supporting themselves and children, instead of living off of your tax dollars. A lot of women work “regular” jobs and then brag about how their not selling their ass but then depend on the government…(albeit i dont know working girl who pays taxes).

    Anyway, i’m done. Its a pretty cyclical argument that will never end just like the debate over wether there is a god or not. Obviously Kam has been hurt…but your man stuck his dick in a chick and no one put a gun to his head. You talk about breaking the law but EVERY ONE does…stop acting like you dont. Cheating on taxes, jay walking.

  14. Good argument Nikki. Most women will never except it, but well said none the less.

    Women find good men, and then get comfortable… they forget that men are biologically programmed to stick our d*cks in as many women as we can for reproductive purposes that are now obsolete. Quite simply, our biology has not caught up to societal standards. We need sex to satiate that desire, be it with the same woman every night or a different one. As a perfectly capable man, It is frustrating to be a reduced to “hoping” i can get some action tonight. Fuck That. It sucks because I love my girl, and if I follow what comes natural to me as a male and go have sex with some other woman, I’m the bad guy. I’m not looking for another partner to share my life with. I’m just looking for pussy. Ladies, men are weak in this department. Please stop setting us up for failure.

    Conversely Men, it’s our job to keep our women on their toes. Until we recently became engaged, I openly flirted with other women, both in and out of the presence of my girl. She hated it, found it disrespectful etc. I can dig it. The thing is, I never had any intention on sleeping with those women. Would I in a different situation? You bet. I only did it to stay on top of my game; you never know when your franchise player is going to quit on you, so have the bench ready, thats my philosophy. What I realize since I’ve stopped is that it also reminded her that I am capable of finding another woman to satisfy my needs. She was more proactive and fought harder to keep her territory. There were droughts in our sex life back then, but few and far between. Now, I’m searching for water in the fucking Mojave every few weeks.

  15. I think prostitution is here to stay and there is nothing we can do to stop it. All men love it… even if they never admit they do. For example…when I was in the Navy we traveled to Rota Spain and once we left the ship from being at sea for three months straight all we could think about was getting laid. We asked the taxi driver to take us where the women are and he took us to a brothel. Long story short…we all had the best time of our lives. Even my Commanding Officer was there! I actually cried when we left Spain because I knew that we couldn’t get that so easily in America. We only have one life to live and people should be allowed to have sex with prostitutes. We really need to look at making it legal because my wife has been holding out on me for two weeks and I wished I could just stop by a place like the one in Spain and let off some steam. Hell if it was legal as with many other things that are illegal we probably wouldn’t have as large a deficit as we do now in this country…well that is if the government stopped spending the way they do.

  16. I must say this booty advertising is something the country needs more of but at a cheaper price. Men need their booty and the government should keep their cotton pickin hands off of their booty.
    Carmel Misses has a fine booty and I see nothin wrong with sharin.
    I wonder if she makes house calls?


  17. I think this is a great topic. Thank you for bringing it up. Although there are several other websites offering what CL was offering in terms of advertising services, none compared to CL’s actual attempt to control the content. I don’t see any reports of any other sire turning away 700,000 postings @ $5/ad. This demonstartes that CL had some form of method of elimination and some ads just shouldnt be published. In terms of escorts and the industry, it will not go away in our foreseeable future. There will awlays be some woman willing to trade herself for something she wants or doesnt have. And some man willing to give it to her (no pun intended), whether its money, cars or financial security. Please is still a major motiavtor for all our actions in life, and still none better than a sexual moment with something you see a extremely desirable. As for women getting a job, does any man know what its like to a woman escort. Its damn hard !!!!! And unsafe! And as long as men are willing to pay for it, women will offer it. So anyone looking to blame an escort for ruining a life/marriage, why was the man looking for her in the 1st place. We need more sites like CL to make it safer for women to offer their services without management (aka. pimps) and do it on their own terms. CL offered a little of this power, and thats why we here at this company are continuing it..

    For all the ladies offering and all the men looking, Get Your Mojo workin!

    Kevin A

  18. i can’t believe how naive most of you are!

    did you know that the majority of the girls on these sites are under age and forced to prostitute themselves by pimps who beat them and keep all of their money? not everyone is born with great familys or parents who will protect them and raise them in a loving way. tons of the prostitutes are terryfied, have no self esteem, have tried to escape and have been tortured for it… are led to believe that this is all they are worth! When you call, you’re calling either the pimp or the girl who is trained to do her job OR ELSE. None of them find this job fun or rewarding… this is NOT a job for them; it’s slavery. All of the joy and tendernes has been robbed from them. Then, many of the men who pay for these girls are pigs to them, leading these girls to believe that trash is only what’s out there and that they truly must be worthless.
    Pimps go to extreme messures sometimes to protect their cover. They even go on online blogs such as this one and pass themselves off as happy prostitutes protecting their reputation when in reality it is a pimp trying to lure more men into innocent girls because it’s apparantly okay by them. Well it’s not! THEY ARE TERRIFIED! Have you no heart? You all must have a daughter, cousin, sister, mother…

    We can help these girls, and even the young boys who are also raped and beaten.
    Report them to the police, anonymously and help them escape. There is refuge and therapy for them but they need your help.


  19. @SexSlave, I did not know that the majority of the girls on these sites are under age. They certainly don’t look like they’re anywhere near underage. And, that wouldn’t make a lot of economic sense. I think it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of people interested in spending some time with an escort are not interested in spending it with an underage girl, which would suggest that the market for underage girls would be relatively small. I haven’t seen any ads for young boys.

    While you’re clearly passionate about this issue, I think your arguments would be stronger if you cited some sources.

  20. Supporters of prostitution like to talk about “choices” and “free will.” Liberals are quick to point out that some prostitutes are supporting their families or earning money for college. Everyone must earn a living, right? WRONG! The majority of these women are drug addicts. To deny that is to deny that the sky is blue. Despite the huge amounts of money they earn, they usually end up broke and destitute because there’s no such thing as having “enough” money to feed a crack addiction. If local authorities started working to shut down these sites, many girls would be forced to seek help and get clean.

  21. @Bet, could you site a source for you statement that “the majority of these women are drug addicts”? I’m not denying it, but I’d like to see some evidence to support it.

  22. Let’s say they are drug addicts. Drug addicts need rent money too. Also, drug addicts have kids too. Is the argument that people whose vices aren’t approved by you should be disallowed from having money? Isn’t that anti-free-market? What would Reagan say?

  23. well I am one of these women and know several women that do what I do I can tell you @bet we are not all drug addicts I’ve never done drugs a day in my life.. I have a college education as well..and make more doing this than with a masters

  24. ok,1st off…i AM an escort. i started doing this because i was living in a house w 2 other people,1 moved in w his gf w no notice and the other wasnt paying rent any longer cuz he started doing heroin so i had to kick him out. I WAS STUCK W A LEASE PAYING 1800 A MONTH AND COULDNT AFFORD IT WAITING TABLES. i had NOWHERE ELSE TO GO.i looked in the paper and saw an ad for “models,dancers,and massage girls wanted. up to $2000 a wk. no experience needed”–i answered that ad and it ended up being private “massage” appointments, ESCORTING IS WHAT THAT REALLY was easy physically and i got used to it eventually mentally also. i now can pay rent without roomates and have a decent car.if it werent for what i do now i wouldbe homeless. i WENT to the state for help and since im white and dressed well they wouldnt give me a dime.i tried every frigging program for housing i could find and NOT ONE would help a 30yo white woman withno children. (one program wouldnt approve me cuz my eviction notice was over 90days old cuz i was living in a hotel before i finally ASKED for help) what im saying is I DONT call yr men,they call me.and even when i DONT advertise i have married men every day try to get my #,and u think theyARENT trying to screw me?paying for it is just easier and less messy. IM not expecting him to sneak and say goodnite to me,IM not expecting the movies or dinners,i dont want gifts…thats still all yours. you should b thankful these men dont heve regular gf on the side. thanx, sky

  25. ps- and none of us are underage. the girls/boys like that arent ON sites like bp…they are more hidden. i actually had an ad of mine flagged because i LOOK underage and im 30 yrs old!! in fact, they contacted my MOTHER somehow asking my believe me, they are on top of that for the most part.

  26. as a response to those that say “oh these poor girls are taken advantage of by dominating pimps and/or are underage” you are just making more of an argument for it the be legal and regulated instead of being forced into to the underground and black market . You do not understand the powers of markets and how even though they can be regulated intelligently , no amount of prohibition will rid the demand . Either get rid of and move beyond our money systems or legalize and regulate . The first one though is a tough economic question that is beyond me, but the second option i am sure would maximize societal benefits . As evidence i implore you to study the huge decline in addiction (by 50%) in portugal after all drugs where legalized . think there’s an excellent article in forbes about it among others (just google it and dozens of articles will come up )

  27. Wow, I came to this post linked from the news that four girls who advertised their services on backpage are dead. Their bodies stuffed in a trunk and burned. I hope ya’ all bragging about how victimless this crime is and you other idiots bragging about how much money they make feel stupid. Truth is, these girls are often underage and they do have pimps who beat them and take their money. Even worse you other idiots who go and meet these girls and end up jacked or missing their wallets please have the dignity to be ashamed in private and not call the Police. Enough said.

  28. My immediate family member advertises on backpage for ads in which she, in one way, prostitutes herself. Yes, she only pays five dollars for an ad and when someone calls her, which ranges from 10-15 phone calls a day asking for more information on her services, she can make anywhere from 140-400$ a day on a good day. You all blame the women, but do the women call the men and ask for THEIR services? I think not. They attempt to prosecute women, yet the men will continue to seek others outside their marriage to women who are still available. And there will always be women available. There is too much money in this industry that no one recognizes. My family member can make up to 140$ an hour and work from home. And she does not advertise like these skimpish women with no clothing. She literally has her body, with NONPROVOCATIVE clothing, and men are always still calling, MARRIED at that. So, good luck with attempting to “curb” prostitution by the means of closing craigslist/citypages because men will always look for the next available woman.


  30. First off I think it’s an excuse for men to stick there dick in some strange women or any women by saying how they are made to just screw,screw,screw I do believe in God and he made one women and one man till they had sinned and was put out of the garden and was punished but not to get on religion but if this book they call a bible is a fairy tale A MAN WROTE IT and it makes sense IF YOU LOOK AND LUST YOU HAVE COMMENTED SIN IN YOU’RE HEART… And why the hell get married you took a vowel and well you know what they are and if you couldn’t take the good with the bad and the bad with the good you should of stayed fricking single!!!! I don’t agree with a women not taking care of her hubby or boy friend but some women have health problems try having periods and hormones race all damn day and female problems and taking care of babies all damn day then bringing aids or some shit home to you’re lover cause a condom broke or even you’re unborn child… STOP TRYING TO JUSTIFY IT…. who cares how long prostitution been around doesn’t make it right!!!!!

  31. c’mon guys u took the VOWEL.
    —–and I always had 2 pay4 CL ads…….anyways,there will ALWAYS B A WAY. MEN WILL ALWAYS FIND US…b it in a casino,online,in A strip club, or even the streetwalkers. Most of MY clients complain they can get laid once in a while- but they CAN’T get a damn blowjob…for years some of em. Sooooooooo…. maybe if uuuuu do it, ill b out of a job —xoxo

  32. This kind of thing is never, I repeat, NEVER going to go away.

    If you have a balloon and squeeze it at one end,all of that extra pressure is going to go to the other end. If you shut down CL or any of the other sites, there will be 3 waiting to take their places: guaranteed.

    Make it illegal? Big deal, it will go underground. Many recreational drugs are illegal and we all know how well the “war on drugs” is going. (More like the “Huge-drain-on-taxpayer-resources-that-isn’t-doing-anything-to-make-a-dent-in-the-problem”)

    But, I digress. Bottom line: You can write a “law” on a sheet of paper and have a bunch of old people in a hall of justice declare it to be the “Law of the Land”, and it’s not going to stop anything. It’s just going to fill our already-overstuffed prison system with EVEN MORE nonviolent offenders.

  33. Most of these women are drug addicts. If you pay for sex with one, you are not really helping her. You are feeding her drug habit. That is how they deal with screwing and giving BJs to strange men. I love how there are hookers on here blaming the wife. Bullshit, if most of these husbands took better care of themselves and bought their wives flowers I’m sure the wife might put out more. Also, I do realize that men tend to just naturally have a habit of straying. Women need to protect themselves from STDs regardless if they are married or not. Hookers spread STDs. They also milk these men for every penny they can get out of them. These pray on these men, calling them at their homes trying to get money from them. They are vultures plain and simple.

  34. @Julie, what’s the difference between an escort with an addiction problem and any other person who’s trying to make a living while supporting an addiction?

  35. Just a few points.

    Why do people say the escorts should get a “real” job? It is a job whether you like it or not.

    Let’s not bring religion into this already inflammatory debate.

    Most escorts are drug addicts? I don’t doubt that some are but where are the facts to back up this comment?

    IMHO the problem is not with prostitution itself, it’s the way it’s been forced underground. Make it legal and it can be controlled. Nobody hiding in the shadows. The girls who DO have issues can seek, and get, the help they need. No girls being beaten and pimped out.

    Again this is in my humble opinion but I really think that some people form their opinions on the escort trade based upon old episodes of cops shows.

  36. Very good points all throughout. I have alot of respect for “professional” escorts, being I am an adult performer. I make no actual contact with clients. I’ve been in the Corporate world and left it. Now that I am in the adult industry, I see how a woman can wonder about actual contact. I don’t think I could do this. It is a form of validation for some, to have a man pay them and the men do not always treat the women bad. Yet as dangerous as it is, what these gals do takes “balls”! I am for legalization to make it safe and in secret environments (brothels) all over the states. There is plenty a soccer mom whose house is in foreclosure and all she has left is her body! So she turns to this. And who are we to judge? I have seen many men cheat in bars because many are just cheaters. Really women, be glad the man is going to someone to do the deed and get it over with, instead of the HOMEWRECKER who wants to have a relationship with your husband and steal him from you. A hoe could care less, as a rule, just wants the money and be done with it. Counts the money and the mind says “next” guy. Being most of these gals go through so many guys, who knows one from the next, just that the next is where the money’s coming from. Nothing personal against wives and I hate that men cheat, but prostitution is here to stay.

  37. This thread is awesome, something i can tell you personally, is i was a pimp before, and i never beat my women, i was there protector, the one that paid the bills, put a roof over there heads, and dealing with multiple hormonal raging women, at the same time is not a easy task….

    i was basically the brains of the operation. took calls, set appointments, was the driver, arraigned prices, protected them from being stuffed in a trunk…

    and yes it is the choice of the WOMAN to do this… ive had hoes come and go, some stayed for years, some for months, some for days and weeks, sometimes its just a phase in a girls life, sometimes, its her way of life, and to pay the bills for her and her kid, that got left @ the bus stop by an uncaring father of her children. so….

    what i can say is that these girls would have nothing for themselves but there bodies, they would be bums on the street with no jobs at all if it werent for guy like me, or the prostitution industry itself.

    and no, all my girls were 100% clean, not drug addicts, like some would like to say, doing no drugs except maybe a drink or some weed… wow. big time addicts…

    i live in detroit, mi and the only drug addicts are on 8 mile rd holding up “will work for food” signs on every traffic light corner… not the red light district, we have a house, and car, and a life, sorry

  38. Fred, Bobby v love your posts……..Craigslist has always been and always will have a yuk element. Now that they banned erotic ads, think about all these guys eating cum without protection being there is no regular erotic ads permitted!! One psycho murderer ruined Craigslist. And is so obvious that prostitution will never end. Give me one drugfree callgirl any day to work for me. Some women good, some women evil, just like any other person. As in the movie ”
    Pretty Woman”, no girl just decided to be this when they grew up. Circumstances!….a call girl is real and just made this choice out of necessity. For many, the idea of $1000-2000 a day became hard for them to leave. And contrary to societal profiling, the guys often treat these girls better than non-paying bootycall guys. I know women from all walks of life, and while not endorsing this, I think it is unfair for people to judge unfairly.

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