SL Escorts: Good Times or Virtual Sex Slavery?

by Alphaville Herald on 19/10/04 at 2:05 pm

In a topic recently opened on the Second Life Forums, Hiro Pendragon has raised the issue of whether the escorts in second life are not being exploited by club owners. As Hiro framed the problem: ?I think there are many clubs that exploit players, most of them new players, many female, that are “escorts”. Let’s make no beans about this – they sell cybersex. They are paid poorly (literally a couple bucks if you convert L$ -> US$). It is unregulated. Clubs get, if nothing else, great dwell.?

I am in a difficult spot on this one, since my friend One Song has operated (operates?) a cyberbrothel and my friend Daphne Molinari co-manages the escorts at Club Elite. I?m not sure what to do with this other than open the topic for discussion, but read on for some issues to consider.

A price list for escort services at Club Diamonds. Picture taken August 23rd of this year.

Just to get things started, let me say this. We all know on the one hand that no one is forced to stay at a club or work at a club. There is no physical coercion in cyberspace. In the worst case you can turn off your computer. But the issue seems to be this: You land in a strange place, utterly unable to navigate. Someone from a club meets you at the welcome area and welcomes you into their ?family?. Over and over you will hear the word family. If you chose to leave, you are leaving your family. So the social pressure to stay in the club/group is great. If you become an escort you will probably work long hours, and most of the money you make cybering will go back to the club (which is also collecting dwell points in the meantime). Your pay will be a pittance compared to what r/l phone sex workers get for the same effort.

Now no one I know has come forward with charges of exploitation, and I suspect that for most escorts it is just a way to safely play out a certain fantasy life. But? I *do* think that the escorts are grossly underpaid in r/l terms, and I wonder if some consciousness raising isn?t in order for all of us (escorts, johns, club managers, newspaper reporters, and Lindens).

35 Responses to “SL Escorts: Good Times or Virtual Sex Slavery?”

  1. Jellin Pico

    Oct 19th, 2004

    I haven’t kept up with how much dancers ad escorts are paid since I retired from the club business, but at Club Vogue, the dancers kept 100% of the customers fee. The only benefit to the club was in dwell. It’s hard to believe dancers would work for any less.

  2. Jellin Pico

    Oct 19th, 2004

    I meant any less than at least 1/2.

  3. TBT

    Oct 19th, 2004

    Well I have no clue never played SL or visited these establishments in TSO either, but they make their own beds so..?

    I mean they aren’t forced to do what they do (It’s a game for gods sake they DON’T HAVE to do anything that they do not want to do), they do have other choices on what they do in these games and regardless of how ever much they are paid they have the choice to say no and do other things..

    Fact is they don’t say no and don’t do other things so they obviously like doing what they are doing regardless of the pay so who gives a crap?

  4. Father Callahan

    Oct 19th, 2004

    What TBT has to say, makes sense. I totally agree… since this is a virtual world, ins’t the idea “If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to”. Then again I haven’t seen these forced Indian labor in Second Life..

  5. Debra Messing

    Oct 19th, 2004

    And you all critique the sims 2 based on sex? You are a magnet for SL scum.

  6. TBT

    Oct 19th, 2004

    Careful there Father..

    “Then again I haven’t seen these forced Indian labor in Second Life..”

    Ya just might give them some ides.. LOL

  7. Mafioso

    Oct 19th, 2004

    I dont see how escorts make ANY money, when theres always a hoe willing to do it for free.

  8. urizenus

    Oct 19th, 2004

    Just because you like doing something it doesn’t mean you’re not being exploited. In fact, it makes it a lot easier to exploit you.

  9. TBT

    Oct 19th, 2004

    But like I said they have the choice, they aren’t forced into anything. They are choosing to do this on their own free will.

    If I liked doing something and was willing to do it cheaply how is that exploting me, it’s my choice regardless of others!?

    Now if I didn’t like what I got paid and wanted more, but wasn’t given that then maybe, but still you don’t have to do anything in a game, you choose to… And with the choice being yours then whos fault is it?

  10. urizenus

    Oct 19th, 2004

    I’m not talking about whose fault it is, I’m talking about the simple question of whether they are being exploited. Maybe they *choose* to be exploited (lots of people do) or maybe they *don’t know* they are being exploited (lots of people don’t) or maybe they know they are being exploited but are being *brain washed* into staying anyway (lots of people are). The mere fact that you have the power to unplug your computer, quit your job, run away to mexico, etc. does not mean you aren’t being exploited. On the other hand maybe its a great job, in which case no one is being exploited at all. What I’m saying is that exploitation has nothing to do with your physical ability to walk away or log off.

  11. BigJohnHasALittleDick

    Oct 20th, 2004

    the main ques is how the fuck can anyone be friends with a piece of racist sexist garbage like one song

  12. urizenus

    Oct 20th, 2004

    dude I am so easy when it comes to friendship, I might even let *you* be my friend. Well, maybe if you had an exotic dance club I could visit…

  13. TBT

    Oct 20th, 2004


  14. mike

    Oct 20th, 2004

    i think its ok to work for a club dancing,escroting,security a security worker for many clubs and a dancer an was a escourt. i admit dancing pays good but y u complaining about escourts? its us security guys who get shit for money and barly any tips why dont ppl raise are dam wages god we get paid like only 75-150 a hour and escvourts can get 1000+ in 10god dam minites of being nude so what the hell i say we help out other jobs like ppl in law enforce ment [me] security, club managment , ect instyead of this crappy idea of “o im a escourt i get paid only couple thousand l a hour please help me”

  15. urizenus

    Oct 21st, 2004

    dude all I can say is that you better start getting nekkid if u want the big bucks from those ladies ur protecting.

  16. angeltk Beckenbauer

    Oct 21st, 2004

    Well i must admit when I first started in Sl i found myself at Diamonds… I had no idea what was going on as far as the game and I was immediately hired to be a “dancer” not knowing how much effort I would have to put into my job in comparrison to the game time. I found myself working in game more than i was having fun but I didn’t mind it at first. But that was because I never had a chance to explore the game. You can’t miss something if you never knew it existed. But once ties were severed between myself and Diamonds I found myself not wanting to work at all. Job offers were being thrown my way left and right but the freedom I now had prevented me from accepting any and all job offers. I realized that there was a lot more to the game than working for a tyrant and making no money. I mean realisticly sure i have to dish out Rl money to support my SL shopping habit but at least i get to enjoy my game time now, rather than make a ton of money for someone who doesn’t even appreciate the effort I was making. So the girls who jump right from the Welcome area into a club are the ones who are being exploited. The girls who were in game for a while before starting in the business are there because of the enjoyment of it, but believe me they are few and far between. Plus they have found a boss that appreciates them and pays them accordingly. Not that those kind of bosses seem to exist in game although there are a few exceptions to that rule too!!!

  17. Mafioso

    Oct 21st, 2004

    Too true angel. I was new to the game and went right to being a dancer because I realized how little money I had. Figured it was the only thing I could do to make money without developing skill.

    So I danced and danced.. and never had time to develop my skills.

    I danced incredible hours weekly and got paid 200 a week.

    Yes, exploitation is an issue – one that can be cured by people like me not being so naive when new to a game, and cured by club owners getting a fookin heart.

  18. One Song

    Oct 21st, 2004

    Ok Angel…I love your post really…
    Ok First of all, is it true or not that I was your freind at the time and adviced you to get a real life job and told you, you should spend too much in the game. OMG how can i put this nicely. How dare u lying whore lie tothis people about who and how I am just because u fucked One Song in game, and you fucked up our relationship and no I did not come back crawling nor i have any intentions, because I got to find who you trully can be beneath your mask. Ok you wanna insult me do so by all means u have the right to, lie to this people about how I am and who I am as a person and I will kill u in game for this insult. And on the cyber prostition issue I do agree there is alot of explotation in clubs and alot of clubs that pay resonable money for a “game” I have many dancers in the past who managed to make over $10K in one night which is $50 USD real life money for playing a fucking game and using a few anims, if u ask me thats good money,but there are a ton of club that are doing exactly thats expliting the average newbie, but may I add in those clubs defence, that SL is a game and those girls arent real protitutes and that the Linden bux might be almost irrelavant to many in fact I have a girl called Faf Faber who works at my club and she personaly requested that I never make any payments to her and that she does it for the fun now for the miserable SL bux. So please keep in perspective that 99.9% of all cyber prostition that ocours in SL might not be necessarily driven by Linden Bux, but most certainly by the fun that it envolves. And final world to u Angel, don’t wanna ever see yout face in game again u lying whore. How dare you. Just came back from a good night out with my RL friends and I see this shitty post u put me in a bad mood u lying bitch and you’ll pay for it.

  19. One Song

    Oct 21st, 2004

    *you shouldn’t spend too much in the game

  20. Lorelei Patel

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Punctuation is our friend, One Song.

  21. CherryBomb Hare

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Punction Lorelei? If I got slandered the way One Song just did, punction would be the LAST thing on my mind.
    Angeltk, all I can say is WOW. I remember you coming to me not long ago, talking about One Song. You couldn’t believe he threw your friendship out over a game. I told you I’d talk to him for you, and after doing so, he lifted the banned on you. Then you turn around and write this crap? Did he in fact throw out your friendship? I think not. Your just pissed because he fired you. Just because you fuck the Boss doesn’t mean you can diss him in public and not expect to have consiquences for it. And the only reason you recieved all those job offers in the first place is because you worked as manager for the lendary One Song. He boosted your popularity because you were his manager. Lets face it, you let the job go to your head, so I’ve heard. Not to mention…you weren’t even a good manager (so I’ve also heard).

    Let it be known, I am the new manager of Club Diamonds. And no people, I need not kiss One Songs ass. I am very successful in game on my own, a professional skinner, clothing maker and earn a ton of $$ from doing that. I’ve previewed in SL Herald twice & New World Notes as well. Just like you Angeltk, I CHOOSE to be manager for Diamonds. And I was pre-warned by One Song how much time & hard work goes into accepting this job. You could of quit any time you wanted too Angeltk. Same with the dancers, I might add. They enjoy their jobs, at least where I work they do. You can make good $$ as a dancer or escort, but like any job…you have to put the effort into it.

    A note about One Song..
    Not many people get the opportunity to know him as a person. He is successful in game for a reason. Anyone that truely knows him, will tell you he is incredabily intellegent. And just because he has to make business decisions in game doesn’t make him an asshole. Question…if you invested money in SL, and owned as much as he did…would you let your employees walk all over you? I think not. You would demand respect. His popularity brings up a lot of contraversy. Of course most people are going to focus on the negavite, it’s human nature. Well people, I’m here to tell you…unless you truely know him, you have NO right to pass judgement on him. Anyone that talks crap about him is only telling you THEIR side of the story, (alot of them lie to cover their ass I might add). What he does, he does for good reason. He’s a business man first and for most, and a damn good one I might add. He’s taught me a lot.
    He does have a heart people, believe it or not and is a very good guy. He’s human, and like us, does make mistakes from time to time. When this accures, he’s MAN enough to admit it. On the flip side, (if you want to call it that), he is a badass and takes shit from no one. (Can you really blame him for that?) It’s simple… Don’t cross him, or you’ll have HELL to pay.

  22. angeltk beckenbauer

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    First of all it wasn’t a diss at one song. I was a newb when i was hired and i did not “know” the game at all when i first came into Diamonds and as far as being based off of money issue, YES I DO AGREE that newbs are being exploited!!! Do i really care to your threats one song… NOOOO bc guess what I am not the one that spends all my time in GAME… I have barely logged on in the past few weeks because of Real life responsibilites and the few mins or and hour I spend in game i realize that it’s more fun to just enjoy friends and such. I could careless about One song and what happened between us but I do not like One Song giving his very demented version of the story. The fact of the matter is I am happy he “fired” me, It made me realize the full potential and fun of the game. But my point in my Post was to explain that for the small amount of Linden in comparison to the game time the dancer was supposed to be in the club is absolutely an exploitation. But once again One Song sees that he can bitch and moan and turn it into something it’s not. Call me all the names you want One and do what you must but if you think ur scaring me or bullying me you have another thing comming… I have better things to do then sit in game and be scared of you. Cherrybomb is an excellent choice to your club and i hope it’s an absolute success. This is not the point of the post I assure you. I was generalizing to all club owners but alas my club experience was at Diamonds. It wasn’t a negative experience the whole time and i never said it was… i just merely pointed out that I didn’t know what was in game because I never had a chance to experience it until after I stopped working in game. LOL… i find this all very humorous… THank you One song for the laugh hahahaha

  23. angeltk beckenbauer

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Oh and a side note… Respect is not something u DEMAND it’s something you earn which usually comes from giving respect as much as you receive it. Basic Human decencey is also a part of that… and to sit here and say that it’s ok for ONe to DEMAND respect is perposterous… There are far more players in game that own a lot more than him and are more successful and they do not DEMAND respect, they Earn it!!!!

  24. Lorelei Patel

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    *sigh* No, not “punction,” my inerudite friend. Punctuation.

  25. urizenus

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    actually, here on the Herald, we are big fans of *punctuated equilibrium*, but I digress…

  26. Maria LaVeaux

    Oct 24th, 2004

    First, let me Address this-
    “Just because you like doing something it doesn’t mean you’re not being exploited. In fact, it makes it a lot easier to exploit you.”

    Uri, quite right, but, Define Exploitation here for us.
    If you mean Monitary, then the Lions share of the profits going to the Dancers sort of blows this theory.
    If you mean sexual, Perhaps, but then, one could say the same for the PATRONS of such clubs. Aren’t the club owners AND the dancers/escorts conspiring to use the patrons sexual desires to seperate him/her from their money??
    Just a thought.

    Anyone in these establishments can walk away any time they want to with No financial, Physical or social reprocussions.

    Exploitation is, quite simply not possible. the freedom of choice of all involved negates such a possibility.

    As to Diamond social club, and One Song.
    I know them both (Angelique LaFollette here chere. :) )I found One Songs rules for his employees stringent (Dancers are expected to spend 75% of their In-Game time working at the club), but then, he WAS trying to run an effective business, and he did. I stopped going to the club when some friends of mine were treated with Gross disrespect by other patrons, with the Tacit approval of two of One Songs Assistant managers, Despite the clubs posted “Zero Tolerance policy” for Prejudice, and Disrespect. One Song himself however, has always acted fairly, and i have no problems with him personally.

    In short, I find there is no real case for “Volentary exploitation” Everyone ther is doing precicely what they want to do. If they stop wanting to do it, they stop. No problem.

    Angel, You and i have met, and you are a sweet girl. You discovered there is more to SL than a hard daily grind. (For me, this is what i come to SL to get away from. Lol.) It sounds to me though, your problems with One Song were more personal than professional. If i have read wrong, I apologize, but that is how it looks to me. the point is, when it stopped being fun, you left, and no one stopped you.

    One Song,
    Let it go. I know what she said made you mad, and your post is a good example of why one should Never Write E-Mails when one is still angry. Threats, and Histrionics only help the points of those who are attacking you. Calmly setting the record straight would have had more impact.

    Maria (Angelique)

  27. One Song

    Oct 24th, 2004

    Yes…. I agree maria…. I written that post when 1am after coming back from a night out with friends….drunk 12 JDs and coke I wasn’t in the best state of mine…my appologies for language used.

  28. CherryBomb Hare

    Oct 24th, 2004

    *Claps* Bravo Marie!! I loved your post. I couldn’t of said it any better myself.

    “I stopped going to the club when some friends of mine were treated with Gross disrespect by other patrons, with the Tacit approval of two of One Songs Assistant managers, Despite the clubs posted “Zero Tolerance policy” for Prejudice, and Disrespect.” As new manager of Diamonds, I’m very sorry to hear that. I’ve watched One Song struggle for many months trying to find good management for his club. You know the old saying, good help is hard to find. So very true. But I assure you, upon your return, you will be treated with the repect you deserve. If any one of my employee’s were to treat you any differently, they would be dealt with immediately.

    One Song also felt that 75% of time spent at the club was to much time at work. It is now 50% of your game time. Though, I make work fun, and I find that a lot my employee’s spend much more time there. It is in fact, our home.

    Slander is a very difficult thing to deal with. I’ve watched this happen to One Song time and time again. I don’t blame him for his sudden outburst. Under this situation, I think anyone would have reacted the same. Just for the fact that I had talked to One Song about giving angelkt another chance at the friendship they once had shared. This is what angelkt wanted. Now, I don’t hold any grugges against her personally. She has been nothing but kind to me. But in my opinion, if she truely valued his friendship, she wouldn’t of posted what she did. That’s not friendship, that’s revenge. True friends don’t do that to one another.

    I’ve been spending a lot of time with One Song this past month. We talk on a daily basis. And I can’t BELIEVE how often people try to fuck him over. It truely amazes me! He is a man of his word, I wish I could say the same for all these people that contantly try to screw him over in one way or another. And because of this, he gets a bad repution in game? PLEASE people, we are all adults here, lets act like it. Unless you personally know him, you have NO right to judge him.

  29. Maria laVeaux

    Oct 27th, 2004

    I don’t mean to lecture Onesong, I’m a fan of calm and reasonable debate. If i had come home after a night like you describe, I probably would have reacted the same. Alchohol. and E-mail don’t mix. Lol.

    “But I assure you, upon your return, you will be treated with the repect you deserve. If any one of my employee’s were to treat you any differently, they would be dealt with immediately.”
    As i stated, It was friends of mine who were poorly treated, I stopped going because I had recommended the club to them, and i felt responsible for what they experienced. I myself, and my pets were always well treated there. I hope i also made it clear that In no way do i blame One Song for what happened. I am glad you are so conciensious about standards at the club, and i wish you success.

    Maria (Angelique)

  30. Death GRace

    Oct 27th, 2004

    ok your pets maria? you feel bad cause soem newbs were exploited yet you and people like you exploit girls that are to down on themselves. and as pets i mean slaves. if you dont have slaves then im sorry but this is abotu slaves. the thing is that i think a large thing on the net that is a problem is this suto gorean slave fetish bullshit. the thing is this there are alot of girls and guys that have low self estems and they thing they have to engage in this activity for the attention and affection they receive. im sure there are a few that acutally live and like the sub/ dom shit but its way out of porportion. i know its cute sometime to see a chick and she has a little girl as her slaves. kinda kinky. however it is used by some like a person that used to be in sl caleld glyth stryker as a tool to control females. and this is another main form of exploitation in my opinion. after living under subituve and your always around others that are doign the same then im sure they dont really see there being a much better life than that. i know im talking in circles but its 2:46 and i wanted to put in my 2 contriversal cents. i know im goign to get heat for htis but it needs to be said. if you wanna be a solid barefoot and pragent women then just be you dont have to have a colar around your neck to be submissive. women were doing it back before equal rights for women back when a women said soemthing out of turn they got 5 across the eyes. same shit mostly in my mind. with maybe 6 degrees of seperation. so get into the kitchen and make me some pie before i kick you in the nizuts.

  31. Maria laVeaux

    Oct 27th, 2004

    Deathgrace, First of all, you won’t get heat from me on your opinions, as i said, I’m a fan of reasoned debate.
    “exploit girls that are to down on themselves. ”
    Obviously, you have not reat any of the previous postings by my best girl toy, If you had, you would see a young woman who is so Not down on herself. she has pride,independance and self respect. she has selected a life of service as the best expression of her personal generosity, and the fact that i choose only to take on girls with these personal traits shows that i do Not exploit. I don’t take on newbs, If i DO take on a girl who i feel is down on her self (And there have been one or two) it is with the intent of turning them around. I am no fan of low self esteem either.
    I find it disheartening that people equate toy’s sort of generosity, and her desire to serve as weakness. In her RL, she is a caring, helpful person, who is considerate of othersfeelings and needs, but Never to the detriment of herself. she isn’t a Victem, she Isn’t a martyr, she Isn’t an attention hog, and she Isn’t a doormat, and I wouldn’t want her if she was.
    Read the interview that toy and i did some months ago, and concentrate on toy’s writings. It’s a different outlook from yours, but i think you will see the flaws in your impressions of us.
    Yes, i feel bad when someone is exploited, but my contention is, No exploitation took place. People chose to be in these situations On line and are free to walk away at any time, Just as angeltk beckenbauer did No one held her, no one coerced her, she got tired of what she was doing, and stopped.

    One last point.
    If this had been a theatre company, performing Shakespear, instead of a strip club, would we be having this conversation at all? Let’s be honest, its the fact the women are stripping that upsets people, Not any Illusion that they are being held against their will.


  32. Death Grace

    Oct 27th, 2004

    well i guess there is soemthing to be said for self objectification. evedently she doesnt have to much respect to be refered to as a toy. objectifying a person in that matter is disrespectful even if your knowingly doign it. for her to be your “best toy” then there is competition to be the best toy. :) sorry i dont have 2.3 million years to read teh rest of yoru post. cause i simply dont care enough. keep it short and sweet thanks :)

  33. Death Grace

    Oct 27th, 2004

    editor : *objectifying a person in that is disrespecful eve if this isnt the intention.

  34. Maria LaVeaux

    Oct 28th, 2004

    If you aren’t reading, then that means you aren’t open to hearing any opinion other than your own.
    Unfortunate, you will never really learn anything that way.

    Thank you for your opinions.


  35. john handcock

    Mar 24th, 2011

    i am wondering if any one in sl has a male escort job available

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