Cheap rentals for "Friends with benefits": Another side to the Craigslist sex trade


Late last week, I wrote a post about Craigslist's recent emergence as a prostitution clearinghouse. I thought that one post should do it; after all, how much can be said about the online purchasing site and its forays into the sex trade?

Apparently, more than I thought.

According to the New York Daily News, Craigslist has begun featuring posts that halve the distance between rental listings and prostitution solicitations.

Generally, the advertisements offer rental spaces in highly-desirable, pricey areas like the Upper West Side and the Financial district. The prices are ridiculously low, sometimes even free, as long as the roommate is willing to model, bestow "benefits" at least once a week, or otherwise barter for the rent. My favorite listing was offered by an amateur photographer who "would be willing to let the right girl live there for FREE in exchange for her being " my call to be my model. [She] must be attractive and sexy, like a 9 out of 10 [and] very thin, size 0 or 2." Excuse me while I have a flashback to Breakfast at Tiffany's!

Anyway...given our increasing reliance on the internet as a means of buying, selling, marketing, and socializing, I guess this shouldn't be surprising. After all, we're talking about a city where women are willing to date in return for a free meal; can rent really be all that far behind? While the whole thing strikes me as a little skeevy, the same could easily be said of most of the New York real estate market!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He acknowledges that some of his irritation may be sour grapes; after all, it's been years since he could fit into a size 2!

Originally published