Disruption

Online madam “Rita” screens customers for sex workers

A prostitute waits for clients in a street of the French southeastern city of Nice, on September 5, 2015. (Photo credit: VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Online startups have disrupted the way humans date, eat, run errands, communicate, and consume entertainment. But now, they’re also changing how they engage in sex work. An online madam service known as “Rita” specializes in thoroughly vetting customers, and offers escorts her detective services for a fee, according to Quartz.

Today, high-end customers of sex workers receive a call from a woman named Rita who will vet their careers and scan their passports or driver’s licenses before setting them up with one of her prostitutes. Rita and other online madams also require references from other escorts before taking on other clients, so customers have to build reputations as good customers through other escorts in order to get to Rita’s employees. Rita’s service offers new protections for the workers, in exchange for a cut of the worker’s pay. Each hour of Rita-arranged sex can cost up to $800, and Rita takes a 30 percent cut, according to Quartz.

“Before the internet, agencies provided the steady flow of clients and screening, but their capacity was capped,” Baylor University economist Scott Cunningham said. Now, agencies and madams can work with a wide variety of escorts and customers due to technology, increasing their own potential profits and the number of escorts they could manage.

Read the full story at Quartz.

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