“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 "pretending to be a landlord" for a novel he was researching about the exploitation of women. He added that he is a feminist. 


According to the BBC, Britain's housing crisis has fueled the exchange of sex in the real estate market. Reporter Rachel Stonehouse ​probed the phenomenon by posing as a prospective tenant. She separately met with two potential landlords to discuss housing ads they had posted on Craigslist and secretly recorded the men as they discussed the provided living arrangements and their expectations in return -- namely sex.

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. 

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. 

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."