“I’ve never seen that before”: The sex offer explodes on the net … just in time for the Grand Prix

The return of the Grand Prix to Montreal after two years of pandemic is making itself felt in the sex offer on the internet: not only has the number of ads exploded, but they are available on different platforms accessible to everyone.

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“We used to have to go through mainly specialized sites, but this year it’s everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. I’ve seen it on Facebook, on Twitter, and elsewhere on social media. I’m fascinated, I’ve never seen that before,” says retired police officer Paul Laurier.

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The president of the security company Vigiteck has been using software for years to find sexual offers, which abound on the Internet.

sexual services

Screenshot taken from the web

Mr. Laurier just listed no less than 30,000 active escort ads. In other years, in the week before the Grand Prix, we were talking about more than 10,000 offers.

For 2022, a comparison with the last few months was not possible, as public events that have a major impact on the demand for sexual services have just started again. And if the number of ads has increased so much, does that mean more women are selling their sexual services? Not necessarily, he says.

In fact, it is more the use of social networks and the purchase of keywords on search engines that have made the offer explode in the past week. “The same girls breed everywhere,” he notes.

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However, ordering sexual services in Montreal has never been complicated. But the men acted mainly on the sides of massage parlors or escort agencies, choosing the girl based on her physical criteria, nationality, age or… the nearby metro station, notes Mr. Laurier.

“We see the same ad on a classifieds site, on the girl’s personal page, on a forum, on Facebook or elsewhere on social media,” Mr. Laurier explained. They have multiplied the domains, they have updated.”

sexual services

Screenshot taken from the web

And if the supply is already substantial, it could continue to rise.

“The peak will be today or tomorrow when we’ll see the girls from elsewhere showing up,” warns the retired police officer, referring to young women in other provinces or in the US who are usually deported back to Montreal over the weekend.

And there is no doubt that the demand for a two-year forced break is there, said criminologist Maria Mourani.

sexual services

Screenshot taken from the web

“They will come from all over the world. There will be an influx of tourists, all the pimps will come together in F1 to sell and recruit their products,” she said.

Experts fear many attempted sexual solicitations are popping up on social media, even in unexpected places like Facebook support groups.

“I’ve never been so scared of young girls. It gives the impression that men are hooked, there’s advertising everywhere,” laments Rose Sullivan, a worker victim of sexual exploitation.

She says she has witnessed solicitations for sexual services, particularly on Facebook, in a student job search group, or even in support groups.

“A woman asking for help getting through the end of the month was offered by a man to be paid for sex,” she says.

“Survivors [de l’exploitation sexuelle] write to me to show me the offers they have received, it’s amazing,” she adds.

According to her, some of these requests come from women who themselves promote their work on social networks open to all.

“I’m seeing more and more women getting naked without necessarily posting prostitution ads, whether it’s on TikTok, Instagram or Snapchat,” noted criminologist Maria Mourani. Guys contact them and they make the transaction.

But all this “advertising” and “commodification” can be harmful, Ms. Sullivan laments.

“During the Grand Prix it’s more attractive, for some it’s worth it because customers come from far away and are willing to pay dearly. But after the Grand Prix, it’s not that profitable anymore. A girl who gets thousands of dollars for being a “sugar baby,” it’s very rare that it ends up in her pockets. It’s so illusory to sell that to young women,” she said.

Yesterday, Montreal Metropolitan and Region Minister Chantal Rouleau was questioned about sexual exploitation during the Formula 1 weekend.

“We are not against the Grand Prix, on the contrary, it has a very big impact on the metropolis. But the exploitation of youth must not be part of the deal. Adults who do this need to take responsibility and be aware of their actions,” she said.

– With Marc-André Gagnon

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