If you’re reading this the chances are you have linked from Social Media or are a regular reader of the Funhouse Blog site, and probably recognise funhouse.co.nz as one of the best websites around. Certainly the best sex industry website of an individual establishment. The internet has certainly changed the way we live, work and play. While we have been able to access porn from the earliest days of the internet (and let’s be honest, consumption of porn still accounts for most web traffic), the sex industry has been slow in creating more than the most rudimentary of websites.
Not that long ago we would use the Yellow Pages when looking for financially procured short term companionship, which conveyed no more meaningful information than the agency name and phone number. We would then be reliant on the shift manager or Madam’s powers of description to make a decision on our companion, which with some establishments was dubious at best. I know that when I first called Funhouse it was after trawling the Yellow Pages, and there was no way of differentiating based on an ad on a paper page.
We know that the web is the key resource for finding information, and that we as consumers are now 50-70% towards making a decision before we will engage the retailer/provider.. This means that before we pick up the phone or go to a store, we have decided what we are going to purchase. In a sex industry context this means we are likely to have decided who we’d like to book before we call. And this is where the importance of a good website really impacts the experience of the client.
I have spent some time looking around sex industry websites and there are few standouts. Funhouse is one of these. The site is friendly, informative, entertaining and easy to navigate. The ‘girls’ page is particularly good. Each profile is complete; an interesting little bio, some vital stats, services, pricing and photos. This information is ubiquitous across the industry, but the quality of the content and honesty of the photos stands Funhouse apart from everyone else.
I want to focus on the photos for a minute. From personal experience I can tell you the FH photos are an accurate reflection of each girl (some distinguishing features or tattoos may have been removed, simply to preserve anonymity). With the occasional exception, there is no nudity, and the girls are tastefully represented, without showing their faces. Now I love seeing naked women, but we must be cognisant that while we maintain discretion and are supportive of this industry, there are those who do not agree with our choices. Once something is posted online, it is there forever, and sex workers have personal and professional lives and must be allowed to maintain their privacy.
There is also an important difference between the service providers and service aggregators; the agencies & brothels and the directories online. Agencies have greater control of their environments and can ensure the accuracy of information, whereas the directories are reliant on information provided to them. This doesn’t prevent either from showing airbrushed images (like one of the ‘premium’ agencies does), from the good old ‘bait and switch’ practices, photos taken years earlier or in a hotel room… you won’t necessarily know in advance, but you will afterwards…
Whether you’re a Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, Millennial or Gen Z, we’re now using the web to search. Like so many service providers, the sex industry needs to improve the quality of its online presence or risk continuing to be seen as seedy and on the fringes of acceptable society. A good website is a key differentiator and gives competitive advantage, but before long it will (hopefully) just be table stakes. And for the Funhouse website, thanks Mary, you’re a genuine leader in the industry.