Love for sale

A Web site offers help in avoiding all that convoluted rigmarole.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING for lust in all the wrong places, it's because you're not on Aurora Avenue, or in South Park, the Denny Regrade, or the Central District, according to the online Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Street Guide. The site,, is a kind of prostitution locator, with tips on where to find the hottest Puget Sound and Vancouver, B.C., strolls, prostitution news clips from local papers, and some sex-related TV listings with editorial comments, such as this from an upcoming Cops episode: "Broward County, Fla., decoy sting. The decoys lure men into a motel room, then vice goons burst in and tackle the johns on a bed as they are handing over the money. Isn't it great living in a free country where the government doesn't dictate what consenting adults can do behind closed doors?"

The man behind the Street Guide goes by several handles, including "John" and "Un-Circumcised." In an e-mail he says he's 39, lives in Snohomish County, and is self-employed. He practices what he preaches, he adds: "I've picked up approximately 140 street prostitutes and have also had experiences with about five prostitutes in Europe, which were in a brothel-type setting," John says. "I've never been arrested for anything prostitution or sex related."

He claims he's never had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), is regularly tested for HIV, and always uses condoms. "I think many elements in society who don't like prostitution for other reasons have exaggerated the STD risk," he says. "But I am an example that johns who are careful can avoid STDs for a long time, perhaps even completely."

John says the aim of his site is to help others enjoy the company of prostitutes. "The main appeal of hookers to me is that I get sex without having to go through the convoluted rigmarole of the legal male- female relationship game," he says. "There is just something that feels natural and right about having sex with a female I just met minutes earlier."

He says he's a serious student of the street trade, the oldest and, particularly around here in recent years, one of the most dangerous professions. "I've never picked up hookers on the Pacific Highway South/International Boulevard strip," says John. "I do recall checking it out a few times in the '80s, probably after the height of the Green River killings, but I don't remember how many hookers I saw then, if any. The only thing I remember thinking is that it wasn't the hotbed of prostitution that its media image suggested, and I still feel that way today. . . . It's probably one of the riskiest strolls in the region in terms of encountering decoys and unmarked vice units.

"The Green River case," he adds, "has probably made this strip one of the best known strolls in North America, but my guess is that not many johns are going out of their way to check it out. There certainly hasn't been much raving about it on the Internet, at least."

THOUGH STREET prostitution once was commonplace downtown, in particular on Pike Street, Seattle cops and downtown bigwigs pushed most of it out of the view of tourists years ago. John's site now lists 16 Seattle neighborhoods and streets currently frequented by prostitutes. He says there are dozens more from Vancouver to Tacoma. He gives the lowdown on prices—generally $40 on up, starting with oral sex, which, of course, is not really sex, according to our last president—and gives advice on avoiding arrest. For example: "The most reliable indicator of decoys is that they don't get in johns' cars; so for maximum protection against stings, don't mention sex, money, or prostitution euphemisms like 'date' or 'working' until the woman gets in the car, closes the door, and you begin to drive away. In contrast to decoys, many real hookers will get in vehicles with no prompting or dialogue, and most can probably be coaxed in with a wave, smile, or offer of a ride."

Also, "Asking the woman if she is a cop is indicative of prostitution loitering and futile anyway because decoys are allowed to lie about that. Requesting the touching or exposing of genitals or breasts is also a violation of loitering laws. Decoys tend to be conspicuous in heavily policed strolls because they stay in a smaller area than real streetwalkers—who keep moving to avoid the appearance of loitering."

By the way, patronizing a prostitute when you're 18 or over is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and an embarrassing day in John School. Caveat emptor.

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