Even in places such as America, where prostitution and its facilitation are illegal everywhere except Nevada, the marketing and arrangement of commercial sex is moving online.
To get round the laws, web servers are placed abroad; site-owners and users hide behind pseudonyms; and prominently placed legalese frames the purpose of sites as “entertainment” and their content as “fiction”.
Results can be filtered, and users can arrange a session for a €5-10 ($6.50-13) booking fee. Peppr can operate openly since prostitution, and the advertising of prostitution, are both legal in Germany.
But even where they are not, the internet is transforming the sex trade.
The shift online is casting light on parts of the sex industry that have long lurked in the shadows.