19/03/10

Swedes make sex boring, even in Brazil

Another thumbs down for the Swedish model. Not the leggy blonde, not even Sweden’s moralistic approach to the sex trade. This one is the Swedish research model, which has managed to turn the fascinating subject of on-line rating of hookers by Brazilian punters into something indescribably dull.

Actually, that may not be fair. I think this research paper is dull. But honestly, it is so incomprehensible that it’s hard to tell. It’s written by physicists at Swedish universities, and perhaps to other physicists the observations are sexy. Here’s a sample for you:

The probability distribution of the time between two subsequent
posts ΔTposts … is narrower than a power-law, but wider than an exponential or Poisson distribution, and consistent with a powerlaw with an exponential cut-off P(ΔTposts) = C exp(−α ΔTposts) / (ΔTposts + β)γ. That the distribution is broader than Poisson suggests a more complex dynamic than just sex-buyers posting independent of each other; that it is not a power-law means that the problem cannot be mapped onto other studies of human response dynamics.

Well, I’m glad the Swedish taxpayer has invested in sorting that out for us, then.

The paper makes a pretense of being important because sexually transmitted infections are passed through the networks of the sex trade. The physicists, who include glorious graphics like this:

Picture 1

note that the sex workers who get the highest ratings go on to have more clients in the future (now there’s a revalation). This worries them, because the more clients a girl has, the more likely she is to be exposed to diseases, right? Well no, actually. The more clients she has unprotected anal or vaginal sex with, the more likely she is to have an STI. But really, what’s the likelihood of a girl getting consistently high ratings if she’s sending clients home pissing glass? She gets high ratings because she’s not exposing them to infection.

As an aside, I was interested to note that the forum allows punters to record three specific exotic or unusual practices: anal sex, oral sex without a condom, or kissing on the mouth. Note that in Brazil, which has one of the strongest HIV prevention programmes in the world, unprotected anal or vaginal sex with clients doesn’t even make the list, very possibly because it is too rare to mention.

Thanks to Paul for putting me in the way of a paper I’d never have found, by way of Technology Review.

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This post was published on 19/03/10 in The sex trade.

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  1. Comment by Lee Rudolph, 22/03/10, 12:54:

    “But really, what’s the likelihood of a girl getting consistently high ratings if she’s sending clients home pissing glass? She gets high ratings because she’s not exposing them to infection.”

    I think you’re reasoning ahead of your data.

    A punter whose mean-time-between-hookers exceeds the time it takes to become symptomatic with pissingglassitis will be able, with some degree of confidence, to pin his infection on a particular source, and can downwardly adjust his ratings of her (and presumably his dealings with her) accordingly; contrariwise, a punter with a very short MTBH (unless he only patronizes one hooker) won’t know where he caught his disease.

    This calls for further analysis (I assume that there’s enough information on the online forum to allow some non-trivial estimates of MTBH values for different posters). Get those Swedes on the line!

  2. Comment by JoHo, 25/04/10, 01:06:

    “But really, what’s the likelihood of a girl getting consistently high ratings if she’s sending clients home pissing glass? She gets high ratings because she’s not exposing them to infection.”

    (Laughing at Lee’s comment)

    I can’t speak for the Brazilian punting scene, but I can tell you that working girls in the US get excellent ratings if they provide good service and offer unprotected anal & vaginal sex. The biggest review site in the US does not allow discussion of these unprotected activities, but people share this information sub rosa, and it becomes an open secret that certain girls offer these services. No surprise, these girls are quite popular, and have scores of positive reviews. I think it is safe to presume that their consistently high ratings have a lot to do with the fact that they offer unprotected sex.

    If she is unlucky enough to get an STI and pass it on to a client, this information will be suppressed on such a site. Not only do site owners (understandably) not want to deal with the ensuing drama should a client post a review that says a working girl gave him “pissingglassitis”, but also, allowing this kind of information to stand on the site presents a legal liability. And so, her ratings are unaffected.

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