Tinder Might Actually Be Bankrupting Brisbane’s Brothels

It’s no secret that Uber has fisted a proverbial hole through the licensed taxi industry: step into the back of any privately owned cab and you’re sure to cop an earful about how the incredibly cheap, convenient and reliable mobile app has all but bankrupted the cabbies of yore. They’re jilted, these guys, and with damn good reason: the Uber service has fucked them without a kiss in much the same way Spotify did the record store; Netflix the local Video Ezy.

When it comes to apps like Tinder, however, the question of hardworking Australians’ long-term job security ranks pretty far down the list of concerns. No one thinks about the fiscal implications of swiping right, or the economic repercussions of finger-walking your way to a fuck-buddy. No one but the brothel owners, that is, who are now having to change the sheets a whole lot less in their houses of harlotry.

“If you speak to most people who go onto Internet dating sites, it’s a hook-up: most of them are expecting sex,” says Queensland madam Joan Leeds. “Tinder especially.”


Joan is the licensee of Brisbane’s Viper Room: one of only 22 licensed brothels in Queensland, and one of the many that have seen their businesses veritably neutered by the recent surge in, shall we say, ‘courtship apps’ like Tinder. Joan goes as far as to wager that only around six of these 22 would be making “any real money.”

“These guys used to come into the brothels all the time because they are the people who don’t commit to anybody,” she said. “They are the sorts of people who will come into a brothel after they didn’t pick up and it would be a notch on their belt, they would never see the same girl twice.”


Joan goes on to reflect, somewhat wistfully, that these stand-up blokes were once “the bread and butter of [her] Friday and Saturday nights. Well, they don’t come in anymore because they just jump on Tinder, it’s free.”

For shame, Australia! Since when did we let a price tag get in the way of a 100% guaranteed notch on the belt?

Seriously though, while her deductive logic may not exactly sound watertight, Joan’s plight and the plight of her peers is an unprecedented side effect of the ever-advancing mobile age. Does that mean you ought to uninstall Tinder right this bloody second and go sink some hunnerds into supporting your local brothel?

That might be one for Q&A next week.

Feature image: Illawarra Mercury


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