Of the many different websites that have been utilized by the CTS community in recent years, BackPage (BP) was one of the most popular. Even while BP was still active there were other sites that copied their format and even their name. These BP “clones” were never good sites, often stealing photos and ads from other websites. Since the shutdown of BP, these clones were even more predatory.
In this backdrop, many people in the community—myself included—were suspicious when a new site showed up: YesBackPage (YBP). Was this just another crappy BP clone? Honestly, I was very uncertain. But a few sex workers that I know contacted me to tell me it was a legitimate site.
Looking over YBP, I think that it has a lot of potential. There are many reputable and well respected providers using this site for advertising. It is continually growing it’s list of users. At this time YBP has become a useful advertising site in many different markets. The spread is somewhat slow in some areas, but this is likely to gain momentum as word spreads that YBP can be trusted.
I do not particularly like the overall format of YBP, but then I didn’t much care for how the original BP was set up either. I prefer sites that are more interactive and searchable. But I do understand that the basic concept here is much like the old newspaper classified ads. And certainly there is a value in such simplicity. The ads themselves are acceptable. No frills, just very straight to the point.
Looking through various cities it is clear that more providers are advertising in some areas than in others. In my particular area there is very little actual local advertising. Other areas are much better off. I would expect this to change over time, but this does currently affect the value of the site to users.
There are still some vocal critics of the YBP. Certain claims have been made online that the site is not foreign based and hosted as YBP has stated. I will not attempt to assess the veracity of these claims.
I can verify that YBP has offered to help providers who lost money when BP was shut down. They have sent out emails offering to give credit to providers who can show that they lost prepaid funds. I know providers who have received credits from YBP toward advertising. This has gone a long way in establishing the credibility of this site in my opinion.
I think that YBP will grow to be a very widespread and used website. Will it reach the size and activity of the original BP? I don’t know, but I think it probably won’t, if for no other reason than I doubt sex workers will become as reliant on a single site like this as in the past.
I do hope to see a steady growth in YBP. I also hope to see some improvements in their layout and user interface. Any new website is going to have to make changes as it learns what does and does not work for its users. In the meantime, a solid place for workers to advertise is a value to the CTS community.
YBP email offer:
Best value to the CTS Community: widespread advertising
Overall Grade: B-
There is an issue regarding usefulness of the site due to a lack of advertisements in many areas, but there is a lot of room for improvement. I do think that YBP will get better over time. There is plenty of potential here.
Since the whole quarantine thing started I have done some seeking on Yes back page and the main thing I have noticed is that none of the people advertising there ever pick up the phone. They just send texts, which, since I can’t hear their voices leads me to wonder if they are even real. Conversely, on the original Backpage the girls would answer the phone and you could talk with them. Another red flag is that most of them not only won’t give you the time of day unless you’re willing to drop everything and let them come over or you go to them in the moment. No introduction really allowed in most cases. Just yesterday one whom I was having high hopes for whom I did get to chat with asked me to forward my tax return. No other woman has ever done that, even those I was in relationships with. Bottom line is that we have to be careful albeit in a slightly different way than the ladies do, and they should know enough about protecting their safety to try and disrupt ours. This is where the black market effect comes in. Just as it is unlikely that abused and beaten woman are unlikely to report their attack, they also bet that clients will be equally reluctant to report robberies and other ripoffs we need to guard against. Gambling is now legal nearly everywhere and marijuana is following on its heels. Therefore, isn’t it time that the PTB realize that prohibition of this activity has been every bit the failure that it was with liquor a century ago?
Some sites are going to be more prone to have scammers than others. I feel like the less effort that has to go into posting on a website, the more likely to find someone trying to scam people.
That said, ladies who will only text is not a red-flag of problems. That has become more & more common, for many reasons.
And yes, it is time for society to realize that the criminalization of sex work is a not only a failure, but an injustice. In truth, sex work has many positive impacts on society. It is far more beneficial to our society than legalized marijuana.
Recently tried YBP – 7 out of 10 were scams. Super aggressive directing me to chat rooms, ebay gift cards, and deposits.
Would like to hear your thoughts on why so many providers are going to texting only.
It is primarily just a practical thing. Texting is less time intensive & more flexible. Providers can do other things while also communicating with clients. They can communicate with multiple people at the same time. They can also go about the rest of their life while still screening & booking clients.
It would be potentially very awkward to talk to clients while waiting in line at a store. But they can easily & efficiently text you.
Why do you feel that so far all efforts to decriminalize sex work that sprang up in various places have been stymied? So far none of them have gained any traction. Same thing as with pot and gambling in that you have the same kind of bootlegging that was in effect when liquor was illegal. Otherwise the common cigarette would probably be banned as well.