Growth of the Commercial Sex Industry on the
By the mid-1990s, one of the hottest places for
commercial development was the Internet. In early September 1995 there were
101,908 commercial domains on the Web, up 26,055 sites from the end of July, and up 72,706
sites from the end of 1994. The sex industry was leading the way.
At the beginning of 1995, there were just 200 businesses on the World
Wide Web selling "erotica services" and products, from condoms to pornographic
videos. I did a search on Yahoo, a popular search engine, in August 1995 and August
1996. In August 1995, the category "Yahoo: Business and Economy: Companies: Sex"
had 391 listings for phone sex numbers, adult CD-ROMS, X-rated films, adult computer
software, live videoconferencing, prostitution tours, escort services and mail-order-bride
agencies. In August 1996 there were 1,676 listings-a four fold increase in one year.
In late 1997, according to Naughty Linx, an online index, there were 28,000 "sex
sites" on the Web with about half of them trying to make money selling pornography,
videos, or live sex shows.
The mainstream pornographic magazine, Playboy, was quick to jump
on the Web. It made its debut in 1994. Playboys Web site content differed
from the print magazine. The content of the Web site was designed to appeal to a younger,
wealthier audience, the majority of which (75 percent) did not subscribe to the print Playboy
magazine. In 1996, Playboy magazines site was the 11th most visited
site on the Web. Since its debut on the Web, Playboy has been one of the most
popular Web publications. In 1997, the Web site generated US$2 million in advertising
revenue. Many of the advertisers are exclusive to the Web site and do not buy advertising
in the print publication. In mid-1998, Playboys CyberClub had 26,000 subscribers
paying US$60 per year. When the pornographic magazine, Penthouse, went online in
April 1996, its web site recorded the highest number of visits for a publication site on
By mid-1995, strip clubs set up advertising Web sites. Strip clubs from
New Jersey, New York and Delaware, USA, had their own home pages where they advertised
their shows. They featured pornographic photographs of strippers, their
"cyberstars" of the week. One Web site for a club in Delaware included
pornographic images of women engaged in the types of legal prostitution offered at that
club, including couch dancing, table dancing, shower shows and dominatrix acts. (See
the section on strip clubs in this report for mens descriptions of these acts.)
A 1996 survey found that 20 percent of the users of the World Wide Web said they
regularly visited pornographic sites. In 1997, Bruce Ryon, Vice President and
Technical Analyst for PC Meter, claimed that more than 25 percent of households
that own computers visit sex industry sites each month. By 1998, another survey
indicated that 30 percent of American households with Internet access visited online sex
industry sites at least once per month.
Any item produced by the sex industry-magazines, videos,
CD ROMS-is always much more expensive than similar non-pornographic materials. The high
prices and profit margins of pornographic materials keeps the revenue and profit high for
the sex industry. In 1996 Americans spent more than US$9 billion on pornographic videos,
peep shows, live sex shows, pornographic cable programs, pornographic magazines and
computer pornography. That amount is more than many other
entertainment businesses, such as film, music, and theater (See Table 1). To put that
amount in some context, according to War on Want, US$9 billion is enough to provide debt
relief for the worlds 20 worst affected countries. These revenue figures
dont include the millions of dollars made illegally through the sale of women in
brothels, massage parlors, or on the street, or the sale of illegal materials, such as
1996 US Entertainment Industry Revenues 
The highest revenue for legal materials produced by the
sex industry was for the sale and rental of pornographic videos at US$5 billion dollars,
followed by strip clubs at US$2 billion. Sex industry sites on the Internet earned US$925
million in 1996 (See Table 2). Estimates of the amount of money being made on the Internet
by the sex industry vary widely between sources. The only thing analysts agree on is that
a lot of money is being made and the rate of growth is exponential. According to David
Schwartz, a phone sex business operator who switched to the online sex business, "The
Internet is where the big money is right now."
1996 US Sex Industry Revenues[138
In 1996 the online sex industry site
revenue could be subdivided into subscription fees at US$490 million, advertising at
US$268 million and merchandise at US$167 million (See Table 3).
1996 US Online Sex Site Revenues
By late 1997 there were an estimated
72,000 pornographic Web sites on the Internet. At that time, Leo Preiser, the
Director of the Center for Technology at National University, estimated that 60 percent of
the electronic commerce on the Web was pornography.
At the end of 1997 the online sex industry was estimated to be making
US$1 billion a year, just in the United States. In findings from a 1997 survey, Inter@ctive
Week magazine reported that 10,000 sex industry sites were bringing in approximately
US$1 billion per year. A mid-size site that was accessed 50,000 times per day made
approximately US$20,000 each month. Established sex industry sites could expect to
make 50 to 80 percent profits. A Sacramento firm that handles online credit card
transactions said that in 1997, the largest sex industry sites had revenues of US$1
million per month; while the smaller sites took in approximately US$10,000 per month.
Forrester Research, an Internet analyst firm, estimated that the Internet sex industry
would make close to US$1billion in 1998. "We know of at least three sites doing
more than US$100 million a year. And there are hundreds of sites out there."
Organized Prostitution Tours
The Internet is serving as a new advertisement site for
prostitution tours to Asia, Central America, Europe and Russia. Advertisements on the web
reach a much larger potential audience that any other form of advertising.
One of the most popular destinations for prostitution tours is the Philippines.
American men, more than any other nationality, are the buyers of women and children on
prostitution tours to the Philippines. US men going on prostitution tours are
typically aged 35-55 and come from different backgrounds including judges, attorneys,
school board members, a father treating his son on his 18th birthday, and clergymen.
Approximately 13,000 Australians a year visit Angeles City, a center for
prostitution surrounding the former Clark US Air Force base in the Philippines. According
to observers from non-governmental organizations in the Philippines, the prostitution
tourists rarely distinguish between women and underage girls when buying them for
prostitution, resulting in the sexual abuse of girl-children as well as adult women.
The following are the details from a few of the prostitution tour agents
who advertise on the Internet.
Alan J. Munn and Pimps 'R' Us
In 1995 Alan J. Munn in New York City, USA, made an
early appearance on the web with advertisements for prostitution tours to the Dominican
Republic and Nevada. Calling himself PIMPS R US, he offered four days and
three nights to the Dominican Republic in a "wonderful setting" which
includes "many female prostitutes." A tour guide on the trip provided "practical
information about how to find and deal with prostitutes and how to arrange group
orgies." On one night, courtesy of the tour, "oral sex (fellatio) is
provided by an attractive female whore chosen by the tour guide." Participants
are also given PIMPS R US baseball caps.
PIMPS R US also arranged group tours to legal brothels in Nevada. Alan J.
Munn provided information on "prevailing prices, what influences how much whores
charge, and reputations of the various whorehouses." The package price included "round
trip transportation from the hotel to one whorehouse daily for a total of four different
whorehouses chosen by the tour guide"
Fiesta! A Tropical Paradise Vacation
Fiesta tours offered a "tropical paradise vacation in Costa
Rica." Prostitution tourists can choose from five programs, each represented by a
picture of a woman. The shortest tour was the Amber that included six nights and five days
for US$1375; the longest tour was the Emerald that includes 20 nights and 19 days for
US$1975. Both fees included the cost of double occupancy rooms and in-country flights,
booked for two. Prospective buyers were told that "Your companion [a euphemism
for the woman he has bought] will meet you at your hotel..." If the tourist
chose a longer tour, his "companion" was changed half way through the trip, so
the man got to buy two women in the longer prostitution tours. 
The Diamond Market, Pakistan
Even pimps from Pakistan have moved to the Web. In early 1998, a
Pakistani group exposed a pimp who was advertising on the Web. The Web site claimed a new
brothel had opened in Iqbal Town, Lahore, Pakistan and the address was listed. If the
viewer wanted more information, or wanted to arrange a tour to Hira Mundi, he could
contact Mr. Malik by email.
Welcome to the Hira Mundi The Diamond Market;"When you
visit a kotha, the resident owner offers you betel leaves
and beckons you to sit down
on the rich carpets
and the women fulfill your every desire. You can come in to watch
and spend the nights there. Truly, the BEST in entertainment." CLICK
HERE FOR PAKISTAN DATING SERVICE!!!
The trade in mail-order-brides is a form of trafficking
in women. Bride trafficking enables men from wealthier countries to seek and acquire women
from impoverished countries or those in economic crisis. Many of the international
"introduction services," as they sometimes call themselves, specialize in women
from certain regions of the world: Latin America (Columbia, Honduras, Costa Rica and
Panama), India (North and South India), the Philippines; countries of the former Soviet
Union, and even Africa.
Azerbaijan Women On each page there are
thumbnail photos of 10 Women, and basic information about them. If you would like to view
a larger image of a particular woman on our Data Base, and more detailed information about
them, simply click on the womans thumbnail photo. For some women there are even more
photos available that you may view
Girls of Honduras Over 140 Honduras Girls
Photos/Bio Datas online with more being entered every week.
Asian Introduction Service Asian girls / women from
Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines, including Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese,
want to know American / Western men. See our photo biographies!
Cherry Blossoms The Original International Introduction
Service. Twenty-two years in business with over 10,000 marriages. Now featuring Photos
& Descriptions of 1,000
Mail-order-bride catalogues on the Internet advertise that they will
assist a man in finding a "loving and devoted" woman whose "views
of relationships have not been ruined by unreasonable expectations." The women
advertised on the Internet are "known to be pleasers and not competitors. They are
feminine, NOT feminist." The bride traffickers rely heavily on ethnic and racial
stereotypes of the women, while condemning American and European women. One
mail-order-bride trafficker explained why American women are no longer desirable to
American men and Filipina women preferable:
"It is less common to find an American woman who is interested in having a
permanent marriage and family including a Husband. One easy way to see this is to look at
ANY publication containing "personals" ads. The women want someone who looks a
certain way, and who has certain "social skills" such as dancing or clever
conversation, someone who is interesting and exciting and seductive. Now go to my Web page
(www.filipina.com) and look at what the girls say they want. Its all pretty simple,
really. Over and over they state that they are happy to settle down FOREVER with a MAN who
is willing to try to hold down a steady job and be a loving and understanding husband and
father. This will get you exactly NOWHERE with an American girl !!!!!"
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of new independent
states have created political turmoil, economic crisis, poverty and high unemployment.
Women have been the hardest hit through the loss of institutional stability. In Russia,
6.5 million women are without jobs, and employed womens salaries were only 43
percent of mens salaries. Violence against women is a severe problem. An estimated
14,000 women are killed each year by their husbands or relatives. A law against
family violence has yet to be passed and there are only two shelters for battered women in
Russia. These circumstances make women desperate for opportunities. The traffickers,
pimps, and mail-order-bride agencies take advantage of this vulnerable population to
recruit them into many types of trafficking.
One of the commonly promoted characteristics of women from Eastern
Europe is that they "traditionally expect to marry gentlemen that are 10 to 20
years older." An agent offering women from Russia also explained the
disadvantages of American women and advantages of Russian women:
There is a surplus of beautiful women in their 20s and
30s who cannot find a decent man. An attractive 25-year-old woman with a good
education in the US is out of reach for most men over 35. In Russia women greatly
outnumber the available men. Many women in the US are spoiled by having it too good all
their lives and have very confused values. Experience show [sic] us that Russian women
come to relationships with much different expectations.
Each year, due to poverty and lack of employment, 19,000 women leave
the Philippines. Many of these women are seeking work overseas and send money home to
support families. It is unknown how many Filipina women leave as mail-order-brides.
The mail-order-bride agents exploit the womens poverty and dreams of a better life.
All of the agents write that the women are eager to leave their home country. One bride
trafficker complains because the Philippines government has passed a law banning the
operation of sex tour and mail order brides agents in the Philippines. He says, "The
Philippines government is ... definitely working against the interests of their own
people. These girls want and need to leave that country" (emphasis
his). The same agent also complains that the US government will not allow his youngest
brides on offer, who are under age 16, into the country. "The service itself is
not restricted by the American government, although they are real picky about getting your
bride into the statesthey wont give a visa to a bride under age sixteen."
One man is writing a book on "pen pal brides," as he calls
them, and publishing it chapter by chapter on the Internet. He explains why there is a
need for pen pal brides, which is a chapter on feminist bashing. He explains what men can
expect from personal stories from men who have acquired women this way. He tells men what
to beware of, such as women who have children or send false photographs. He describes all
the details, including costs, on how to get a "foreign" woman.
The new Internet technology enables Web pages to be quickly and easily
updated; some services claim they are updating their selection of women bi-weekly. The
Internet reaches a global audience faster and less expensively than any other media. One
mail-order-bride agent explained why he preferred operating on the Internet,
"So when the World-Wide Web came along, I saw that it was a
perfect venue for this kind of business. The paper catalogs were so expensive that the
quality was usually very poor; but on the Web you can publish high-resolution full-color
photos which can be browsed by everyone in the WORLD"
Asian Bride Magazine had a site on the Web by mid-1995. At that
time this agent was still publishing magazines. The Web site advertisement claimed that
each issue featured 250 Filipinas. The Internet version had pictures of women with their
names, ages, height, weight, and bust, waist and hip measurements. The counter told me I
was Internet visitor number 64,411 to that Web page. The Filipina Connection
claims that, "We publish 100 new ladies each quarter." Soon
after this, the number of women with each agency and on each web site sharply increased.
At least one mail-order-bride trafficker offers under-age girls from
the Philippines to Western men. World Class Service, advertises "Mail Order
Brides from the Philippines. The mission of World Class Service is to introduce girls from
the Philippines who would like to correspond with, meet, and marry Western men."
In his catalog of potential brides there are 19 girls aged 17 or younger. Next to the
question, "How do I order and how much is it gonna cost me?" Visa and
Mastercard charge cards are prominently displayed. Men are also told that "We also
accept payment through the First Virtual InterNet Payment System," one of the first
online payment systems.
ID # V001Hazel; Age: 13; Height: 53" (160 cm);
Weight 95 lb. (43 kg); Children: none; Looking for a mate in age range 20-35. I am
now a freshman student at Saint Pius School.
I like outdoors having fun. I like to
read magazine which is nice to me, especially to religious books. I sometime love to see a
movie but not so
. I really want to have a penpal who is loving, caring, honest, and
family-oriented person. I am a marriage minded woman.
ID # Y011-Eddy Mae; Age 14; Height: 5;2" (157 cm); Weight 98 lb.
(45 kg); Children: none; Looking for a mate in age range 18 to 25; Currently,
Im a second year student of San Lorenzo Ruiz Academy of Polomolok;
are writing, painting, and reading books. I love reading Valentine Romance and any love
story pocket books. I like watching TV Patrol and Million Dollar Movies.
ID # 1F12-Edrilyn; Age: 15, Height: 50" (152 cm); Weight
95 lb. (43 kg); Children: none; Looking for a mate in age range 20 to 30. I am
working in my neighbors house as a servant. At the same time I am studying at public
school as a sophomore student
I like playing (as I am a sportsminded),
dancing, reading, writing. I am fond of reading magazines, especially Movie Star and Teen
Star. I love to watch TV shows such as Bay Watch and Power Rangers, which is interesting
too. I am self-supporting.
Mail-Order-Brides from Africa
In the Spring of 1998, I found two agencies operating out of the United
States there were offering mail-order-brides from Africa.
Gems of Nubia
This is a correspondence & penpal
service for men seeking attractive young black women from Africa and other parts of the
world for love, romance and marriage.
EBONY GEMS OF NUBIA 
P.O. Box 659
Hyannisport, MA 02647
The African Queens agency was offering women from Lesotho and
Johannesburg, South Africa, and said they were marketing the women to the
"Afro-Western Professional man.
Hello! We very pleased to have you here at the home of some of the
most beautiful women in the world . . .
hundreds of Personals Services on and off of the World Wide Web offering ladies from
Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Philippines, China and about every corner of the earth. We are
proud to be THE ONLY company in existance [sic] today that offers
SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN EXCLUSIVELY!
Why have we done this? Simple. Again, there are so many
companies offering caucasian and asian women on the web that we were astounded to find
that NO ONE offered beautiful BLACK FORIEGN WOMEN to eligible WESTERN MEN! We not only
have black women but caucasian as well from South Africa BUT we are trying to maintain a
STRONG EMPHASIS ON THE "Afro- Western" PROFESSIONAL.
African Queens - c/o KwikMail Worldwide Delivery - 8304 Whetstone Road
- Evansville, Indiana 47711 USA
In March 1999, the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) reported
that the number of mail-order-bride agencies in the United States was growing rapidly. The
US Congress mandated the report because of fears that women were being exploited and
tricked into fraudulent marriages. In 1998, there were over 200 mail-order-bride agencies
operating in the United States. The report claimed that approximately 4,000 to 6,000
women, mostly from the Philippines or the newly independent states of the former Soviet
Union, were brought to the US each year through mail-order-bride agents. Although, this
number is only three to four percent of all female immigration to the United States, this
small number is starting to appear in domestic violence statistics-almost one percent of
the domestic violence cases now being brought to the attention of the INS involve women
from the mail-order-bride industry. An investigation into the mail-order-bride trade from
the Philippines to Australia, conducted by the Australian Department of Immigration and
Ethnic Affairs, uncovered what they term "serial sponsorship," in which a man
brings a woman back to Australia, and when that relationship fails, often due to his
violence, he abandons her and returns to the Philippines to acquire another woman. They
have identified men who have sponsored up to seven women.
The following is an advertisement for A Foreign Affair, an
agency that offers mail-order-brides and "romance tours" to meet women in St.
You May Click On Any Featured Woman On These
Tour Pages To View Her Bio Page! A Romance Tour hosted by A Foreign Affair is possibly the
most exciting adventure you will ever experience in your lifetime. Not only will you enjoy
two relaxing weeks in one of the worlds [sic] most beautiful and romantic cities, you will
arrive with the objective of meeting and courting some of the most beautiful and sincere
women in the world whose desires are the same as yours. That being, to meet a special
person to love and spend the rest of their lives with.
The Most Exciting And Rewarding
Adventure You Will Ever Have!
Tours Departing 8 Times Per Year! Next Departure Date: April 18, 1998
Since 1990 the Philippines government has banned the operation of sex
tour and mail-order-bride agencies in the Philippines. One mail-order-bride pimp
complained about this, but said his solution was to move his computer to the United States
and use his own Filipina wife to make contact and recruit women and adolescent girls in
the Philippines. Even though the Philippines has enacted this law, the trafficking of
women and girls from this country continues to rise.
Types of Sexual Exploitation
Sex tourism, mail-order-brides and prostitution are
variations on the theme of sexual exploitation. I will take a series of advertisements
from a US based pimp and describe what is offered on his web site and show the connections
among the forms of sexual exploitation.
A picture of a Filipina tops the first page of Travel Philippines. She invites
the men to "Come explore the Philippines with me!" The advertisement
describes the Philippines as an "exotic and interesting place to visit."
Information is given on tickets, lodging, food and water, money changing, nightlife and
the tour schedule. Prostitution is briefly mentioned as being "everywhere,"
and a price range for prostitutes is listed. Men are told, "You can partake or
not, its up to you. Most do partake." Marriage is also briefly mentioned: "As
most of you know, the Philippines is the happy hunting ground for men seeking a wife.
There are all kinds of women of every description. Its hard to go to the Philippines
and not get caught up in the idea of marriage. The whole lifestyle seems to revolve around
love, marriage and kids." 
On the next linked page the man is asked "would you like to
have a beautiful female companion as a private tour guide?" (emphasis his)
or "would you like to have introductions to decent marriage minded
ladies?" If he chooses the private tour guide he is directed to the X-Rated
Escorted Tours. At the top of this page a picture of the same Filipina from the
introductory page appears, this time with her breasts exposed. The woman invites the men
to "Come explore the Philippines and Me!" Much of the same travel
information is repeated, but here the man finds out how much it costs to have an
"escort" during his trip. The fee is paid to the travel agent-pimp, not
the woman. The agent-pimp suggests that the tourist-buyer tip the woman, although it is
not required. 
If the man chooses the marriage option he is directed to the linked page on Over
Seas Ladies. There he is asked if he is tired of watching TV and having women make him
jump through hoops. He is told that the women for sale here "respond to every
gesture and kindness, no matter how small." He is reassured that these women are
not concerned about his age, appearance, or wealth. Here the man is presented with
thirteen pages of pictures of women from which he can choose. The pimp sells the addresses
of the women to the man. For an extra fee the buyer can have a lifetime membership which
entitles him to the addresses of all the women, those currently available and those in the
future. (If the man is seeking a permanent relationship, why he might want or need a
lifetime membership is not explained.) The whole sexual exploitation racket comes full
circle with the next linked page on Escorted Wife Seeking Tours. The man is told "You
will meet a lot of beautiful women there. Your penpals that you have been writing to will
be happy to see you. The new women you meet will be generally good girls, but
there are plenty of bar girls there too and you will surely encounter some."
Bar girls, X-rated tours with "private tour guides," mail-order-brides-all are
forms of sexual exploitation organized by the same agency for the profit of pimps, hotels
Commercial Use of the Internet for
the Sexual Exploitaiton, part 2