Sexless in the City

The Web site for the World Sex Guide ( describes itself as "a research project about prostitution worldwide." Unlike sites dedicated to research at UC Irvine or Johns Hopkins, however, this one features a banner ad for Penthouse and

The World Sex Guide offers (ahem) blow-by-blow descriptions of prostitution around the globe. Contributors are referred to as "anonymous volunteer researchers." Though the details they provide the Web site might suggest they're disturbingly horny johns, there's no reason to assume they're not also engaged in serious scientific research.

Poring over the reviews of Orange County gives you something of a crash anthropology course on the state of prostitution in our little buttoned-down oasis. Reading entries that span five years—from 1995 to January 2000—you discover that whoring once thrived around John Wayne Airport, until police crackdowns sent the world's oldest profession to the area around the Happiest Place on Earth. Subsequent police sweeps there sent streetwalkers down Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim into Garden Grove, and then Santa Ana, and then Costa Mesa.

Indeed, it's apparent the heat on the streets got so intense around 1996 to 1997 that prostitution was mostly driven indoors, into massage parlors and tanning booths and "pain-relief" centers, where, according to these nookie-needing Netizens, "full service" does not involve deep-tissue work, an array of sunblocks or aromatherapy.

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You find out that before the arrival of the Weekly's ripping adult advertising section in 1995, it was The Orange County Register classifieds that were universally cited by researchers as the source for finding potential sin. That's right, potential sin. The Register and the Weekly make it clear to advertisers that all goods and services they pitch must be legal.

Thus, many World Sex Guide researchers—who, we couldn't help but notice, cited Register adult ads over the Weekly's 10 to 1—felt they were "ripped off" by escorts and massage parlors they learned about in the fish wraps. Why? Because escorts showed up at their doors to do nothing more than, well, escort. They encountered girls at massage parlors who only gave massages—and only of parts of the customers' bodies that weren't throbbing. "Full service" was not part of the deal.

Sadly, the research makes it clear that for the most part, OC is viewed as a moonscape when it comes to getting your rocks off. Extensive police sweeps, spooked massage workers and an industry taken over by non-English-speaking immigrants are the most commonly stated reasons for our flaccid industry. If you're a businessman here on a layover, your days of getting laid may be over.

"Due to the current plans to develop the entire Anaheim/Buena Park area into a family resort, most if not all the 'grown-up' fun has been pushed back to the cities of Newport Beach and as far away as Downey," one poster wrote on Jan. 4. "I have heard of, and personally experienced, nothing good from the storefronts or individual girls working in and around the resort area and heard nothing less than paranoia and complete rip-off scams from Newport and other beach communities."

Finding the ever-changing hot spots can be confusing, according to another poster.

"You knew things were a bit different in Orange County when you arrived at your departing airport," he wrote. "Your luggage was marked 'SNA' (Santa Ana). The airline receptionist asked, 'You are flying to Orange County today?' As you landed, the flight attendant said, 'Welcome to John Wayne Airport, where the time is . . .' Look around as you leave the airport. The airport is located in Costa Mesa. The road in front of the airport is located in Irvine on the north side and Newport Beach on the south side."

Those who have managed to find fun in the great outdoors generally cite Beach or Garden Grove boulevards.

"One girl I fucked was from a halfway house in the area," wrote one happy camper, who bragged that the woman let him at her "without a rubber" and it only cost him $20. Lucky guy!

But for the most part, the street scene seems dead.

"OC cities have way too many patrol cars, and they check cars," warns a researcher. "Residential areas are bad, too: well-lit with lots of people who take walks, even in the wee hours. Your best bet is to skip the $40 BJ and go for $100 full service in a motel. Rooms run around $30. Don't let her pick the room even if she says she has one. Ask her to show you something a cop would not. Anything other than a quick boob flash means LEAVE NOW!"

Another poster agrees: "The Orange County police have killed off the business. Bellflower is right outside the county and has a good street scene. Inside OC, your best bet is massage parlors. What is nice about them is that if you find one that doesn't offer full service, you are only out $40 and you get a nice massage for your money."

Most researchers preferred parlors run by recent Asian immigrants. Just last month, a researcher went to a Fountain Valley establishment where the Asian woman putting her hands all over him quickly made her way to his groin. "She asked if I wanted a blowjob or full service for $100." He opted for both "in a few different positions" before she used her hand to finish him off "with lotion."

Another Asian-run business—this one in Costa Mesa—satisfied a poster. "She gave me a kiss on the cheek, as if to say goodbye, and departed for the south range." She "brought the complete satisfaction desired within a few minutes," the researcher happily reported.

However, the majority of massage customers were disappointed.

"She allowed me to caress her legs (she wore tight shorts), but that was all," wrote a limp biscuit.

"She refused anything other than a shitty massage and started out with the most phony, forced small talk," a researcher noted following his visit to a Newport Beach parlor. "It was really depressing; I left after taking a very lonely shower."

The reason for this, uh, downturn?

"The cops have been into the places trying to get the girls to solicit or touch in a suggestive way, so the girls have to be very cautious, and some have gotten into trouble," offered a poster. "As a result, what used to be a thriving little industry around OC airport has dwindled to just a few very cautious places."

Fullerton "has eight to 10 good to great massage parlors where—if you make the effort to visit often, tip well and treat the ladies nicely—they will truly be at your beck and call and give you a much better hour than you will ever receive from any snooty-ass rip-off escort queen," another poster wrote in January.

Ah, the escorts. No one receives more derision on the World Sex Guide site than personal escorts. Two researchers posted messages this past December telling about girls who came to their doors, took the money and ran. And who you gonna call? A cop?

"The money they make like that wouldn't last long," was the only solace one gent could take after a female escort and male bouncer made off with his $200 soon after their arrival at his house. "And I believe that they have caused a terrible consequence for their family and their children will become prostitutes and the trash of society. Satan bless them!"

One enlightened fellow may be on to the reason bad carnal karma exists in Orange County. "The cops are the best subscribers to media such as these," he wrote of the sex guide. "I'm not sure where they're headed with this. It seems as though we had a pretty amiable detente for a while. The cops were working to keep the streets respectable, at least until late at night, but were kind of just keeping an eye on the massage industry, where the business tends to be low-profile, inoffensive and pretty clean."

He couldn't fathom why that all changed.

"Most of the massage-parlor customers and most of the street-hooker customers are just people minding their own affairs (no pun intended). Now the cities and cops have taken a hard line with the massage places, and I wonder if they really think they can kill the world's oldest profession?"

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