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Prostitutes are facing a shortage of clients, as the rapid rise of hook-up smartphone apps such as Tinder erode the market for paid sex. New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective national co-ordinator Catherine Healy said the most common complaint both here and globally was a lack of work.
In part, that was the result of the rise of online dating websites where people could find casual sex for free, she said. The likes of NZDating. Location-based apps such as Tinder and Grindr have also experienced enormous growth in recent years. Tinder does not reveal user numbers, but said, globally, people swiped through 1.
While over there, she ran into two Kiwi acquaintances doing the same thing. She typically fitted three or four clients a week around work and family commitments, but would ideally see one every day. Eva said the rise of online speed dating had been harder on male prostitutes, as the hook-up culture in the gay community was more socially acceptable.
Not everyone using Grindr had a positive experience, with many still preferring to pay, he said. Both Jay and Eva said the internet had some big advantages, such as being able to advertise cheaply and effectively.
He said he was looking into Madam, a New Zealand-developed online service that uses location technology to connect clients with prostitutes in the same area.