Search

‘Prostitute Tripadvisor’: Campaign to close down website in which punters rate and review Ilford, Goodmayes and South Woodford sex workers

PUBLISHED: 17:07 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 03 October 2018

Punternet said the women are offering a service and publicity helps them make a living.  Picture: Ellena Cruse

Punternet said the women are offering a service and publicity helps them make a living. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Archant

With comments such as “house is on a quiet street of Cranbrook Road” and “interior is nicely done” I could almost be reading the review section of Airbnb.

Sam - not his real name- has been using the services of prostitutes since his nine-year relationship broke down.

The office worker, who lives in Redbridge, said at first the liaisons were a comfort or “intimacy replacement” but it soon became an addiction.

“I was broken, the person I thought I was going to marry left me,” he said.

“I was so lost and didn’t leave my flat for six months, apart from going to work.

“One day I just decided to do it and it was such a release with no emotional baggage - it was an escape from hurting and it made me feel good.”

Sam started making regular bookings and before he knew it had spent thousands of pounds on liasons and on call lines.

“It’s a good thing that sexual addiction has been classified as a mental health problem,” he added.

“People think it is seedy and it’s just that you have a high libido or hate women and they don’t realise it can be a symptom of something else.

“I realise this now and I am working towards meeting someone new and building a healthy relationship.

But as my cursor scrolls down the page, it becomes abundantly clear with every click, that the subject of the feedback is of a somewhat more insalubrious nature.

Women’s figures, sexual techniques and even dispositions are rated and reviewed on Punternet UK – an escort review website.

Sex workers from all corners of the borough, including Ilford, South Woodford and Goodmayes are analysed and compared in detailed accounts.

Ricocheting between obscenely graphic descriptions of sexual acts and almost superfluous, clinical overviews, the women are seen as disposal playthings – there to perform and meet the most nichest of requests.

Trishna has started a petition for the sex worker review website to be taken down. Picture: Trishna DattaTrishna has started a petition for the sex worker review website to be taken down. Picture: Trishna Datta

One review, that I had to make myself read, complained that one particular woman didn’t want to perform and tried to pull away.

In language that can’t be repeated in a family paper, unconcerned for her welfare the client made sure to finish the job to get what he had paid for.

It is accounts like this that inspired Trishna Datta, 27, of Newbury Park, to launch a petition to have the website taken down.

She performed outreach work in Ilford Lane and witnessed first hand the violence and harassment some of the women received.

Locations and working hours are posted on the website and some of the women didn't even know they were on there. Picture: Ellena CruseLocations and working hours are posted on the website and some of the women didn't even know they were on there. Picture: Ellena Cruse

She said she respects the right for women to work how they want, but Punternet is not set up by the sex workers and lacks significant safety measures.

“It is unlike other sexual service providers because prostitutes are not advertising their services,” she said.

“Punters are advertising them and the telephone number and locations of girls – putting them in direct danger.”

Trishna said that punters use aliases and in many posts the things they describe could be “equivalent to sexual assault” in any other setting.

Used condoms are a common sight in some parts of Ilford.  Picture: Ellena CruseUsed condoms are a common sight in some parts of Ilford. Picture: Ellena Cruse

“Punternet acts as a safe cyberspace for punters to share alarming experiences,” she added.

“The men that use the website openly act out behaviours and share attitudes towards women which would probably lead to criminal charges if carried out in a different context.”

One sex worker, who wants to remain anonomous, said she finds the website really demeaning and degrading.

“The girls that get the best reviews are the girls who will do absolutely anything for money,” she said.

“If you refuse to do stuff, they’ll go on and slate you and you get a bad review – your working career is done.”

However, another sex worker, based in Ilford, said she likes the website and it generates lots of bookings.

“This is my job, it is a business and like any other service you need promotion,” she explained.

“I get free publicity and have got some regular clients through it.”

A spokesman from Punternet said the website does not treat women like commodities and objects, however the service 
the ladies provide is a commodity.

He added that like a hotel or restaurant being reviewed on Tripadvisor, if the sex worker’s service is given a positive review, the woman who received the review enjoys the benefit of increased contacts and custom as a result.

“Contrary to what certain ill-informed people would have you think, the women who advertise and are reviewed here are, for the most part, pretty savvy business people,” he said.

“They know that good reviews are key to growing their business – getting a good review makes their phones ring and generates income.

“We pride ourselves on treating everyone with the decency and respect that every human deserves and unlike most other sex worker review sites, we allow the ladies to submit a rebuttal to be added to any review with which they disagree so that readers can get both sides of the story.

“We will also remove reviews if it appears that they were deliberately malicious or intended to be hurtful, or if the lady simply notifies us that she is retiring from the business and does not want those reviews to be found in the future.”

To view the petition visit: change.org/p/stop-punternet-com-from-operating

Latest Ilford Stories

West Ham United Hammers midfielder Jack Wilshere says there is far more to come from Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season.

Yesterday, 18:00

Ultra-marathon hero Kevin Webber was presented with a cheque for £150,000 after completing seven walking marathons in seven days

Yesterday, 17:00

Wanderers were without a game last weekend

Yesterday, 16:00

Daggers make the trip to Meadow Park on Saturday having lost their last five in the league

Yesterday, 15:52

Dagenham & Redbridge striker Elliott Romain has departed the club to join National League rivals Maidstone United.

Yesterday, 15:00

The Chilean praised Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the capital clash

Yesterday, 18:08

A party organiser, whose last event ended with a stabbing and a gun being fired, has applied for a licence to hold another event in Ilford.

Yesterday, 17:13

A widow is urging drivers to be more aware of motorcyclists after her husband from Dagenham died on his daily commute to work in Redbridge.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now