PHOTOS: Northern Rivers brothels fall on hard times
TINDER and other social media has been blamed for a massive down turn in the legal brothel industry on the Northern Rivers by enabling private sex workers to operate using dating Apps.
In the same way Uber and Airbnb have disrupted the taxi and hotel industries, it's claimed Apps like Tinder have made it simple for people to link up for private business deals.
Or, as one Northern Rivers madame put it, with Tinder "they're getting sex for free".
Ballina Exclusive Company brothel's madame Suzie* said the legal premises on Piper Lane had experienced a down turn caused by illegal "private girls" and normal users of dating Apps.
Before becoming a top Sydney escort and Penthouse Magazine 'pet', gracing covers in 1983 and 1987, Suzie was qualified as a registered psychiatric nurse.
She warned that using "private girls" on Apps came with risk.
"Some girls are going about their business on Tinder," Suzie said.
"That's why we believe STDs have become so rampant, because those girls don't have health certificates and regular STD checks.
"Tinder users may not know or understand about sexually transmitted infections and symptoms on the skin which indicate STDs.
"STDs have become rampant again because people are selling themselves online and clients are not going through the right avenues to access legitimate and safe sex workers."
The Northern Rivers only has three legal brothels operating and their future is uncertain.
The Sunshine Coast Daily and ABC this week reported Sunshine Coast brothels had experienced a 40% decline in demand due to the prolific use of dating Apps, with only one legal brothel remaining in the region.
Sunshine Coast sex workers also believed STDs were on the increase.
Northern NSW sex workers have told the Northern Star an increase in illegal sex workers - including backpackers - operating out of hotel rooms, without the overhead cost of licensing fees, are also having an impact.
One sex worker who did not want to named said the 'no drug and no alcohol' policy in local brothels was a turn off driving brothels to shut shop on some days all together.