A few years ago, men could chat and date any girl they met on the internet. Several got lucky and even went on to marry their online dates. However, a lot of things have changed on the web space and this has impacted the way people do things. Today, it is very hard for a lady to chat you online without asking for money.
Online dating is now socially acceptable in most countries. While majority of online dating apps and sites are looking for romantic relationships, some are also looking for new friends or sex. Only 24 per cent of users are looking for sex online, and this has changed the way people use their internet.
In Kenya, more people are spending their internet watching porn and betting. The growth of pornography and live cam sites have enticed many. This change in internet trends and browsing habits has also captured the hearts of night nurses. Ladies who used to parade themselves on the streets of Nairobi at night have changed their tack and moved online where they are reaping a windfall.
Exotic Africa, which owns Exotic Kenya, Exotic Uganda, Exotic Tanzania, Exotic Ghana and Exotic Nigeria says that techpreneurs have been forced to embrace change and offer the online community what they need.
“Trends indicate that online users are not searching for clothing, shelter or food stuffs. The best we can do is leave that line of business to Jumia, Amazon and Ebay to concentrate on emerging niches,” says Tom, Exotic Africa CEO.
Exotic Kenya was registered in 2015 and is currently receiving about 5,000 visitors daily. When you visit the site, you will be greeted with photos nude or half-nude women who appear to be call girls.
Upon interrogation, Tom explains: “Exotic Africa is a platform for men and women who are looking for company. You may think that all these women are selling their bodies, but most of my website visitors are looking for someone to talk to or go out on a date with.”
We spoke to a male escort on the site about his take on the business and this is what he had to say:
“People are busy and lonely. Relationships have also become boring and with the rampant cheating patterns, partners no longer trust each other. Most of my female clients complain about their absent partners and since company is a basic need, they are willing to pay for my services.”
Exotic Kenya data revealed that the average escort receives 3-20 calls from the escort directory visitors and convert at least two clients a day. A session with an escort lasts between an hour to weeks, with the rates depending on client’s need. Short sessions are charged per hour ranging from US$10 – 1,000. Escorts on tour spend up to two weeks with their clients, traveling as far as Europe at the cost of the client.
“One day I was in he supermarket when I received a call from my work phone. A guy who had seen my profile on Exotic Kenya was offering USD 10,000 for me to travel to Europe. He actually bought my lunch that day and later send money for my visa,” explains Lisa* about her first encounter with a foreign client on Exotic Kenya.
In the escorting business, we discovered that there are sites that offer free escort listings while others have a subscription fee. Exotic Kenya is one of the premium escorting sites mentioned by our interviewees. When we followed up, we established that most of the escorts on Exotic Kenya are former prostitutes who operated from Koinange street, K1 club, former Simmers club among others. They praise online escorting sites for giving them a face and restoring their dignity, as they do not have to sell sex for a living.
“Prostitution is illegal in Kenya and this made life on the streets very difficult. There is the bad weather, hostile clients, brutal police and low pay to deal with. Some clients even threatened to report us to the police in order to get away with pay, but with the internet things are a lot easier. Since I signed up with Exotic Kenya, I only wait for calls at home. If am not able to offer the services the client needs or we don’t agree on pay, I can comfortably say no and still make money that day because the phone never stops ringing,” says another escort.
NB: *-not her real name