17 April 2015
Sex and the internet have always had a close relationship, so it should come as no surprise that the sex industry has often been an early adopter of the latest online technologies and innovations. From web cams and chat rooms to introduction sites and video directories, the internet already accounts for a large proportion of sex work.
One of the most recent technologies being taken advantage of by the sex industry is the app. Companies and individuals around the world have created a range of apps covering a variety of topics, with some apps aimed at customers looking for sex and others designed for sex workers themselves.
So will the digital world transform the sex industry for good? And will apps make the industry safe for the women who work in it?
A fantastic app for sex workers, Ugly Mugs allows users to share information about violent or dodgy clients. Unlike other apps, Ugly Mugs is black screen so it doesn’t light up the user’s face as they search for information.
As well as sending out alerts and updates, the app notifies users if they’re called by someone who’s number is in the Ugly Mugs database.
With more than 75% of sex workers admitting to having been assaulted, anything that can help women stay safe and avoid dangerous clients has got to be good news.
Labelled as the Tinder for the sex industry, Peppr was developed by a Berlin based company looking to make it easier for customers and sex workers to get in touch.
Users can search for a sex worker by age, body type and even hair colour before contacting them through the app. Once a meeting is arranged, the app takes a €5 or €10 euro fee from the client, while the sex worker doesn’t need to pay for the service.
As it’s designed primarily for independent sex workers, escort agencies that want to use the app will need to talk to its owners first. Currently only available in Berlin, it’s only a matter of time before Peppr hits an app store near you.
With the internet and smartphones an ever more important part of our lives, the number of apps designed for the sex industry is sure to grow in the future. Though some will be more beneficial than others, anything that helps women to stay safe and in control has got to be a good thing.
To find out more about how you can stay safe or to find out what help and support is available for sex workers in your area, get in touch with Doorway Women’s Services today by sending us an email or calling 0808 800 1030.