Are you pretty? Are you broke? Do you desperately want to see the world?
There's hope. No, we're not talking about the Peace Corps. We're talking about Miss Travel, dating site entrepreneur Brandon Wade's newest venture that pairs rich people with travel companions -- as long as they're good-looking.
The site predictably elicits shock and anger from people who see that exchange as glorified prostitution. But Wade has made a living on dating transactions that brush against -- but don't quite breach -- the border of paying for sex outright for years. The only shocking part is that we're still shocked.
In December, we told you about WhatsYourPrice.com, a dating site in which men literally buy dates from women. Sex isn't included in the cost, as our writer Ric Delgado discovered firsthand. But meals, drinks, and entertainment is typically picked up by the man, who's also paid for the pleasure of having a companion to share it with. As Delgado wrote, "It is ... obvious that What's Your Price? is just a stone's throw away from being an escort service."
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The man behind What's Your Price? is, of course, Brandon Wade. Wade is also the founder of SeekingArrangement.com, "the elite sugar daddy dating site," and SeekingMillionaire.com, the title of which is pretty self-explanatory.
It's all capitalizing on pairing beautiful women without means with rich men who are likely to expect sexual favors in return for their pricey gifts, in as many different ways as possible. And yeah, that's pretty gross. Wade's businesses both capitalize on and further the idea that women are objects to be bought and sold.
But that idea and Wade's business model are both tired stories. Wow, big surprise, another man has figured out how to profit from sexism. So let's stop treating Miss Travel like it's something new and fascinating and upsetting. Ultimately, it only encourages Wade. And for no good reason. After all, prostitution's called the world's oldest profession. And sites like Miss Travel are just a different sort of brothel.