On CodedRuns, the Nigerian sex forum that dates back to the days of 2go chatrooms, all your fantasies can come to life, for the right price of course.
The forum has grown into a massive hotbed, promising all kinds of sexual desires. The website CodedRuns.com occupies a 4 terabyte server space, more than some commercial banks in Nigeria.
The reach has expanded to twenty-five countries, with thirty thousand escorts and fifty thousand registered clients, all over Africa. This data does not include unregistered clients who can book sessions with escorts without having to register.
On the website these days, everything is on sale. There is an e-commerce category for the sale of sex toys, raunchy underwear, and all kinds of aphrodisiacs. Hotel and short-let apartment owners advertise their spaces in another category. Adult content creators own a category described as “Naughty Videos.” A new category that if you click on simply says “coming soon” is called Live Cam.
CodeRuns in a conservative country?
For a country that prides itself on its conservative values, where only 0.6% of its population claim to not be religious, and 53.5% claim to be Muslim, with the advent of the internet, forums selling sex have seen massive growth.
On the social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok accounts selling sex have proliferated. A quick search of the keywords “hookup” or “sugar mummy” provides multiple accounts with thousands of followers offering access to sugar mummies, sugar babies and all manner of people with the prefix -sugar.
“Hot Sugar Mummy For You – More than 500 SugarMama Free Connections,” a post on the link to one of such accounts blasts. “Get Free Hookup with international Women Here,” another says. Even LinkedIn, the social media platform for professionals has seen its own fair share of users selling sex.
But CodedRuns, or just CR if you know it well, has been able to dominate the space over the years by being tactical, verifying accounts, requesting clients share testimonials, outlawing pimping, soliciting or transferring of accounts, rating performances and staying consistent.
But most importantly by focusing on the safety of the escorts.
The forum started out as a place where people talk about their sexual fantasies. As a rite of passage, new members in those days will share with the forum their first time being intimate. After a new member shared her experience, a horrific incident of sexual abuse, members suggested that the admin create a space for people looking to have safe hookups.
“We then meticulously embarked on building CodedRuns with a mindset to create a sane safe place for escorts to advertise their services,”
– the Admin who manages the website said in a mail to Technext
The appeal of the online sex trade
ChubbyBrat (not his real name) who works full-time consulting on scholarly research, registered on CodedRuns because he didn’t see himself making a full-time commitment with any woman.
He has remained a loyal client who has had more than ten sessions, first because of how professional the escorts are, but also because of the interface of the website. “It’s quite user-friendly,” he said. “You can browse, you can search based on location to the exact state and even city.”
He said he likes the galleries, scrolling through the pages, looking at the rates of the escorts, and how specific they are. Escorts on the website have everything single detail available on the profile so clients are only reaching out if they are sure they can provide whatever their fantasy for that day or weekend might be.
Escorts who offer BDSM services post it on their profile with the rates beside. Those who simply offer Facetime or WhatApp chat make it known on their profiles.
“All this information can be accessed without even having to provide your identity, or number or email,” ChubbyBrat said. But he has an account because he wants to save pages of escorts he would like to patronise even if he might not be ready when he discovers their profiles.
But even as the sex trade proliferates the internet, some young internet users are still not sure if this new way is how they want to find hookups even when they have to pay. One young man who works for a tech company in Lagos said he’ll never use any of these hookup platforms.
“Why will I use these platforms when there are women everywhere?” CaveMan Dayo said.
As the dating pool becomes more and more transactional, some of the escorts on CodedRuns say that they joined CodedRuns because in their normal life they get money from their boyfriends after sex anyways.
So being on the website is no different to them.
There are still a few other users on CodedRuns who do not charge for their services or charge very little. They are mostly men, and they say that they are on the website looking for mutual fun. Some say they are looking for someone interested in a friends-with-benefits type of relationship.
While the ladies on the website start their rates at 20,000 to 40,000 naira, these men cap theirs at 8,000 naira.
Even though the website is ripe for monetisation, the admin said they have remained reluctant of milking it for every single kobo possible.
Instead, they have charted out plans that only make enough money to keep the websites afloat: charging a fee for escorts who wants their profile to be more visible and a cut from users who charge a fee for their adult content posted in the Naughty Video category.
The admin doesn’t take any percentage from escorts or run banner adverts or google adverts.
“CodedRuns was not designed as a business,” the admin said. “We still see ourselves as a charity, rendering a sane safe place for working girls and boys to advertise their services.”