“You must like sex, and be adventurous as well."
A British landlord sought to explain away an undercover BBC video that aired Monday night and showed him offering rent in exchange for sex.
Mike, as he was identified on the program, said he was simply "
The BBC later told the men that their conversations with Stonehouse had been filmed. One man, Tom, declined to comment.
Mike may well regret having spoken out given the skeptical reception his explanation received on Twitter.
"when interviewed, Mike said he was pretending to be a landlord and is actually a feminist writer who placed the advert to research his novel on the theme of the exploitation of women" gimme a break mike — Yazmin Collister (@SazCollister) September 10, 2018
Regarding the larger phenomenon of housing for sex, many Twitter users argued that the power imbalance between landlord and tenant makes the introduction of sex problematic.
It's easy to say "it's a business transaction, you can decline it" but we're talking about shelter, a basic need here. If in the free market electricity bills were increased to say £50,000 per year, I doubt people would say "well, just find an alternative".— Sam L (@sam89098) September 10, 2018
According to Safe Lives, a charity for domestic abuse victims that helped with the BBC program, 80 percent of women involved in sex work in Bristol are homeless.
The concerns raised by the BBC program played into a conversation -- amplified by the #MeToo movement -- over over how to curb men's use of power to get sex without stifling normal social interactions.
Congress in March passed a bill to reduce sex trafficking by making websites more accountable for related content posted by users. In response, Craigslist took down its personals section from the website.
"Any tool or service can be misused," the company said. "We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day."