The advent of social media platforms which enable the connection of individuals from far and wide, has despite all odds proven to be one of the best and most sure-fire way to market products and services as well as gain connections which may otherwise prove impossible in reality. As the virtual world grows and more applications surface online, the online community has helped improve the face of business, both legitimate and illegitimate, which otherwise would have been conducted in the darkest of hours and crevices depending on its score on the illegal chain.
One of such businesses which has seen the limelight thanks to social media is the age long business of prostitution, which seems to have found the perfect way to express what would have been tagged “shameful” by the society. Some of the widespread applications and social media platforms which have lent a voice to the underground business of prostitution are Facebook, Twitter, Badoo, and Tinder. These applications have been rated as some of the top 10 applications used by Nigerians for “hookups” – a word which has different translations ranging from casual meetings, relationships, sex dates to business-“‘hookups”.
Tinder has however proved more useful to the prostitution business in Nigeria as it provides a curtain which veils individuals from both ends, providing an air of secrecy to individual participants and allowing them to choose what they are willing to offer in terms of personal details.
However, make no mistake, like every transaction and exchange, the platform provides for price determination, discrimination and of course, based on the nature of the online business, charges are higher than the ‘cheap’ motel runs which have been reported to cost at the very minimum, N500. Tinder ‘ladies of the night’, or in this case, ladies of all hours, have been reported to be around the top on the prostitution food chain, charging at the very least N20,000 for a night cap.
Tinder has facilitated in bringing the prostitution run to the doorstep of whomever is willing to purchase for the night, as the ‘booty call’ could be as far and near as one notification message away. With an added advantage of anonymity and the veil provided by the internet, Tinder ladies have proven more courageous as there is no beating about the bush, like a formal letter. Instead, you are required to go straight to the point of the business transaction; “how much are you willing to pay for what you see?”
Also, the issue of distance is not as complicated as might be expected and poses no significant problem especially after extra charges are taken into consideration. In addition to this, the online veil has also broken down the barrier of fetishes as individuals hitting these ladies up are free to express their desires to the fullest extent although with an expected higher charge.
With Tinder being the platform to engage in what would rather have put the ladies out by the curbs at night, escorts and prostitutes have become glorified celebrities who are able to live lavish and update their social media pages with the most expensive trips, jewelries, and other fashion accessories, without having to find their clients in the most obvious and illegitimate ways expected of the trade.