Nerve Classics

Talking Shop with an Online Escort Service

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In this edition, we interview the founder of Slixa, an online escort service.

Do you feel like there are any misconceptions about the industry that you’d like to debunk? Like how true is the “daddy issues” or the “girl working her way through college” stereotype?
I think there a lot of stereotypes that are just not reality-based. We’re really doing our best to change that perception. Many of these adult entertainers are the opposite of what people would think. Many of them are drop-dead gorgeous, extremely smart, and extremely savvy. Many of them have other professional careers. And they conduct themselves in a very professional way. I think the reason these misconceptions exists is because the sites that have been built pretty much reinforce that negative stereotypes because of the way the site looks. So we’ve tried to get rid of all of that garbage to give them the beautiful design that they deserve, and I think that helps change the perception of the industry.

Do you think the stigma is wearing off? Are most of the workers forthcoming about what they do?
I think you’ll run the gamut of people keeping it to themselves, maybe for personal reasons, and women being very open about it. In general, there have been a lot of changes for woman in this decade, with women becoming more comfortable with who they are and what they do. There are minor shifts in the overall attitude to the industry, but I think we still have a long way to go.

How do people react when you tell them you’re the founder of an adult entertainment site?
The first thing they do is write down the domain name. [laughs] I’ve never had any negative reaction. I think that people are a little surprised because it’s a little unusual for a woman to have a site like this.

Do you think it’s significant that you, as a woman, founded the site?
I think that a woman-owned company such as this maybe has a little more sensitivity to the providers and the concerns that they face. I’m not positive that a man would have the same perspective, although I have to say that the male staff in our company are really dedicated to respecting women and presenting the women on our site with respect.

I wonder how you came up with the idea. Was there some element of female empowerment driving you or if you just like adult entertainment?
Well, the way that Slixa came into being is that I’ve been in marketing pretty much my whole working career, and I had a girlfriend about five years ago that wanted me to help her with her marketing for her website. She was an adult services provider. And I started to do some research on the industry to help her and I discovered this huge void within the industry for good marketing. I felt there was time for a better type of site.

Ladies deserve to have their own space free of distraction.

And how do you think Slixa is better than other adult entertainment sites?
I think there are huge differences that are immediately visible to anyone who visits the site. First of all, it’s a beautiful design, which is rarely seen in this industry for some odd reason. My team and I felt very strongly that adult services providers deserve to market themselves in a beautiful interface void of third-party banner ads and adult entertainment ads that compete with them for page views. We have a very different look and feel that’s immediately apparent. We have a very clean design and outstanding navigation.

I noticed one of the coolest aspects of the site is that you have a newsfeed at the bottom featuring articles about the sex industry. Are you hoping to use the site as a vehicle for these issues? And, as the stigma of adult entertainment continues to wear off, do you think that people in the industry will be able to promote social issues the same way celebrities do?
Well, first of all, the blog has become a very important part of Slixa, accidentally so. We wanted to engage with content on the site. Obviously, all of the entertainers have beautiful profiles. The blogs were really an extra component that we added just a few months ago, and they have really exploded in popularity. So not only are gentlemen browsing the site for private companionship but they’re also reading our blog. The blogs are written by industry workers, so they have a unique perspective that they bring to the topics, and we’re covering not only industry subjects but stepping out into mainstream news.

A lot of the descriptions of the women highlight their personality and what they like and such. How much do you think personality plays a role in who clients choose?
One other thing that’s unique about Slixa is that we attract this very high caliber of adult entertainer, and because of this, the audience is of equal quality, so to speak. I think on our site an adult provider’s personality and package as a whole is really important to our site visitors, and we get that kind of feedback all of the time. We have an interests section they can fill out, in addition to a general About Me, and it gives them the space to expand and let their personality shine through.

Are all of the clients men or do women request escorts as well?
Our demographic is by far male, but we do get some female visitors.

I’m really interested in the administrative side of this. How do you ensure people get paid? What happens if the girl doesn’t show up?
We don’t have direct contact with the providers themselves. We’re simply an advertising platform for them to advertise themselves on.

How do you choose which women to feature?
Any provider is welcome to advertise with us, but we have content guidelines pertaining to photos and text, and that’s monitored very closely. They can sign up with Slixa through invitation only, so they have to sign up and send us some basic info, and once their invited their profile needs to adhere to our content guidelines.

How do you feel about the industry in general? Do you feel like porn and stripping and adult entertainment are all on the same place on the spectrum, or do you think there’s a difference between the three?
That’s a great question. I feel like there’s obviously some overlap, but I actually like to think that Slixa has separated itself from the porn industry and other adult entertainment providers because I don’t think our entertainers don’t want to be placed alongside porn, and rightfully so. And we don’t run any porn site ads or web cam ads, and we have no intention of every accepting that kind of advertising because we believe that the ladies deserve to have their own space free of distraction.

So, it sounds like one of the ways that Slixa is different is that it presents the escort service industry just like a profession like any other?
Absolutely, and I think it’s all about how you present the entertainers, because if you look at a lot of other sites you really see sites that are outdated and horny, and we like or clean, pressed look, and we want it to look modern and function in a way that’s user-friendly, and that really makes us stand out because other sites haven’t really come over to our way of thinking.

This article originally ran in Nerve’s Storytime with series.