I found the worst thing.
So, as you see, attractive women are paid by rich (mostly married, it seems) men to be “companions” during travel.
I’m tired, so I’m going to let you all think about this and come to your own snarky conclusions.
The site was founded by Brandon Wade, who founded the similarly designed and also terrible whatsyourprice.com.
So obviously, I signed up for the site (which was free) so I could look more into it. The process itself was unsettling – I guess it’s just because I’ve never signed up for a dating site before. It was eerie when they asked my eye and hair color, but then when I saw the options for “relationship status,”
I remembered that this was a dating website. Very odd. Also, the displayed option of having an internet-sanctioned marital affair was a weird thing to see. I guess I just haven’t had many internet affairs.
So once I filled out – with not a small amount of shame – my fake account, I went and looked at some of the featured “Generous donors”. Jezebel was right – a large amount of married men, most of them (at least reportedly) millionaires (I didn’t even KNOW that there were that many millionaires in the world). Their profiles ranged from the obvious (photos in front of expensive cars – and one that was just a helicopter) to the sort of sad (a 34-year-old, “little bit on the shy side with women. but confident when working,” whose profile photo was just him in an empty white room taking a picture with his iPhone in a mirror) to the amusing (“Want to travel the world before 12/21/12 … all the girls I know have jobs and arent willing to quit there jobs”).
And yes, people are looking for sex. I mean, I’m not surprised – people are often looking for sex. But the sex-looking is just so official and thinly veiled. One Generous traveler, under his description of his desired “Attractive traveler”, wrote “I hope my companion is also sensual and affectionate.”.
There is also the option for Generous travelers to just gift frequent flier miles to Attractive travelers – the dubiousness of the “gift” nature of this is described tactfully: “So why would a Travel Sponsor give you miles? For many reasons. Some may want an online friend.” The lesson is: pictures of your boobs (which most of the profile pictures of Attractive travelers are anyways) will be rewarded.
One odd aside is that MissTravel.com linked the Jezebel article under their media coverage, which is called The Dating Website Where Rich People Take Pretty People on Fancy Vacations, Which Is 100% Definitely Not Prostitutey at All. I guess any publicity is good publicity and all that. But really – the article described the site as having “a F***TON of gross married dudes.”
Also, Gary Arndt was wrong about one thing: he said that “Most of the women in the system seem like very normal women.” If normal women pose in bikinis on their knees on their beds in front of cheap webcams and use profile pictures that cut off their heads so to better display their cleavage, then yes, most of the women on Miss Travel are very normal women.
So, for your weekend meditation, I ask you to consider the impressive ability of the internet to bring all of the bad ideas and unscrupulous people into one place.