Putting Code Together Since 1987

Selling Sex?

In iPhone, Web Design on January 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm

We’re in discussions with a client who wants a website for an escort agency. Immediately this brings up a lot of questions – we’re not dealing here with an engineering firm or accountancy with straightforward requirements.

Selling Sex

Thing is, in every case, where we design a website we have to delve into the minds of the likely visitors, what will be attractive to them, and how we can make sure the website performs. Often it’s straightforward – the client sells something we use in our day to day lives. If it’s an accountancy firm… well, we use accountants, we know what does and does not wind us up about them. We’re also doing sites for denture specialists and although we don’t need them, we can find people who do and ask them what they like.

But this is the sex industry and you can’t just go up to people in the street with a questionnaire and ask them lots of prying questions. You’re likely to offend, or even be on the end of aggressive behaviour. And none of us in the office have ever bought sex services – we’re pretty much the kind of people who only pay for things we can’t get for free…

And that’s just one problem. The next is to ask ourselves how closely we want to be involved in this industry. In effect, we’re selling sex. Ok, technically in the escort business you’re just selling ‘company’ but it doesn’t take long to realise that this isn’t really how it works. The girls exercise some choice, it seems, and if the guy sucks, she doesn’t, basically.

How Would People Access This Site?

Other factors include access to the site – we can assume that access from home pcs may not be popular – instead, should the site provide good support for mobile phones so that potential clients can find the site a little more, erm, discreetly? With the iPhone perhaps? If that’s the case then that means no Flash (regardless of the client’s taste for shiny doodahs), tight bandwidth control, easy touch navigation (fnar!) and so on.

If we get the dots dotted and the tees crossed on the contract, we’ll let you know how it went.

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  1. This is the dream job, dude. What an opportunity to exercise your creative ability to arouse (literally) without being crass or tired. Clients are clients, money is money, and done right, this is a PR opportunity like few others. After all, you’re not selling the steak, you’re selling the sizzle.

  2. Would you create a website for your mother or sister to sell this ‘service’ to any dirty, desperate men? If not, don’t create a website just to sell other people’s sisters. You seem like a talented designer and surely can’t be so desperate for money.

  3. “Dirty, desperate men?” “Sell other people’s sisters?” “Desperate for money?” Wow, somebody has some powerful preconceived ideas about sex! Who said it wasn’t male escorts (too)? And last I checked, escort services weren’t practicing slavery, especially the ones that have high-caliber websites. In this case, make sure you don’t do any sites for liquor, oil companies, cigarettes, night clubs, fattening foods, or sports cars.

  4. It’s sad what people will do money.

    I suppose some designers are so short of clients that they will make illegal websites for prostitutes if it helps bring them in a few pennies.

  5. You can say it’s illegal, but it’s not. Prostitutes are perfectly entitled to do what they do. There’s also a key difference between an escort and a prostitute – escorts have the choice, even though the money’s been paid, to not have sex. They’re not paid for sex, and if the guy is a git they can back out. The agency we dealt with then has procedures for dealing with this.

    There’s also the very simple fact that we’re not here to judge what other people do. We’re a business. We’re here to do business.

    Two of us in the office are vegetarian. Would we write a website for a restaurant that serves meat? Yep. No doubt about it. Would we build one for a battery farm? No. So yes, it’s not black and white. With regards to escorts we have no particularly strong views, so we’d go ahead.

    Anyway, it’s a moot point as it looks like the work’s fallen through – they’re approach and ours are probably incompatible. I think they wanted us to work on a time & labour basis and that’s not really something we do.

  6. think about this how would you like to be homestaed technologies this am they designed emperorsclubvip their ideas ‘sold’ at least to the govner of new york!!! so Isay you never know wher your ideas will lead you& the quid is an afterthought mate!!! ideas rule–talent2nd place—quid3rd—- theyall in one package are all necessary

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