Sex Sells


I had written a Post in the discussion thread on about a year and a half ago regarding a “sex worker” in my building. Well, as you know, sex sells… and I ended up having 30,000 hits and the maximum number of comments. The story was out of control and smallworld just published a piece in their newsletter as well. Check it out below – ha ha! !

Let’s Talk Sex

by REBECCA DOYLE Published: Wed Apr 15, 2009

When Omar Ul Haq, a London-based associate, joined ASMALLWORLD, he had no idea he would become an overnight sensation. His forum post, “Sex worker in my building,” elicited over 500 responses, making it one of the most popular forum discussions in ASW history. Here, we break down the colourful cast of commentators and the highlights of their often dirty (and hilarious) online saga. (Note: All names except Omar’s have been changed to protect identities.)

(Note: Even though Omar put the kibosh on the party, Mr. and Mrs. X continued their online banter until they finally decided to take their relationship to the next level: personal messaging.)

The Victim
Omar Ul Haq

Omar’s plight was simple: there was a prostitute living across from him in his London studio apartment building. His entreaty was free from moral judgment, contempt or any bid to land his neighbour in the slammer—prostitution is legal in the UK after all. His problem with the situation was that he just couldn’t sleep because of the noise caused by the constant comings and goings of his hallmate’s various visitors at all hours of the night. Omar wasn’t looking for ASW fame—just advice on how to get some shut-eye. But the predicament between Omar and the “blonde in her bathrobe,” as he referred to her, initiated a whirlwind that the author never anticipated.

The Entrepreneurs
Mr. and Mrs. X

Many saw this situation as an entrepreneurial opportunity for Omar. Several members suggested that Omar become the woman’s pimp, obviously with the requisite references to pink Cadillacs and gold chains. However, amid the countless jokes about profit-sharing and neighbour discounts, two members, who we’ll call Mr. and Mrs. X, went above and beyond in their efforts to help Omar capitalize on his situation.

Mrs. X’s input, initially marked with a heavy dose of rationality, quickly turned into something out of an AIG board meeting: “Omar, you should act as her wealth manager, invest the money she makes and then skim off the profits.”

Mr. X also began reasonably by warning Omar that he didn’t want to be on the receiving end of a disgruntled pimp’s rage. When Omar revealed that the blonde’s pimp was “bald and fat,” Mr. X remarked, “Fat bald people, as you so described the pimp, tend to put a lot of weight behind their punches…not to mention it is their job to keep johns and their working girls in line…might just want to let this one slide.”

Things took a turn when Mr. and Mrs. X began to talk to each other. They were set on devising a fortune-making business plan. Their scheming reached its height when they planned an ASW dress-up party, a mock exorcism meant to scare away the sex worker. Jokes about black robes, garlic, holy water and Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” were traded, and witty compliments doled out: “Mr. X, I like your style.” Other members chimed in, and the demands for Omar to host the party were relentless until he wisely declined to disclose his address.

(Note: Even though Omar put the kibosh on the party, Mr. and Mrs. X continued their online banter until they finally decided to take their relationship to the next level: personal messaging.) 

The Elitist
Mr. Y

While many posters chose to deal with the topic at hand, a few renegades decided to dissect the validity of Omar’s plea. Some took issue with Omar even considering this as a problem. One member argued, “You have a sex worker in your building? I can’t even find the handyman.” Mr. Y went a bit further.

Setting off an onslaught of controversy, Mr. Y asked, “Should people on ASW be allowed to live in studio apartments?” Omar and fellow members interpreted this loaded comment as a full frontal attack on Omar’s social standing and admonished Mr. Y for his snobbery. Omar was deeply offended, referring to Mr. Y’s comment as “disgusting.” When Omar asked Mr. Y if he needed a certain number of bedrooms in his apartment for Mr. Y to acknowledge him on the network, Mr. Y’s infuriating “Yes” ignited a full-out war. “I don’t know what world you’re living in mate… but you seem to only have ‘some college’ education as it says on your profile, so maybe you skipped out on the day they were telling you not to judge people on how much money they have,” wrote Omar.

The [Mis]informant

One far-reaching member suggested Omar contact the IRS. “The police will do nothing; the IRS never dismisses a case.” The IRS is the US government agency responsible for tax collection and tax-law enforcement. Omar lives in the UK.

The Brothel Buster
Mr. Z

A member of the local police committee bestowed every conceivable nugget of wisdom he had about Central London’s dirty underbelly. “She’s actually not a HIGH class prostitute. She’d only be ‘servicing’ one client per night if she was. She’s just your standard ‘in call’ London prostitute (£150-300 a client),” claimed Mr. Z. In one post, he even indicated that he was at a meeting of the PCCG (Police Community Consultative Group) and had taken the liberty of consulting an officer well versed in the area of “brothel busting.”


Perhaps it was Omar’s evident good nature and naiveté that attracted so many members to his thread: he chose to refer to her as a “sex worker” rather than a prostitute and refused to include any graphic titillation about what he had seen or heard, “trying to keep it as clean as possible.” Maybe members were just bored at work and needed something to occupy the hours. Or perhaps the real reason the discussion was so popular was just… well, people love to talk about sex. As one clever member pointed out: “Sex is everyone’s favourite topic… we all can go on and on and on about it.” Amen.



  1. 30,000 hits and 500 comments?! That is every blogger’s dream! I love how all names have been altered except for yours. Thanks for the entertainment. Keep it coming OUH…

  2. U never told me about all this controversy over the sex worker blog article-I cant believe someone would comment on the studio bit- and the IRS thing is too funny
    Maybe u should also write about that incident outside your elevator

  3. I told you about it – you must have forgotten! Let’s keep the elevator story a secret. I thought you would have forgotten about it now! hahaha

  4. that was a fun read. I didn’t know the story got to be big! Next you’ll be on Larry King. Looking forward to that happening in your near future.

  5. This is my favorite story ever! Keep them coming, Oms!

  6. See something like that would never happen in Piscataway.

  7. I’m still recieving private messages on Smallworld regarding this story and it’s hilarious. It’s funny how the most hits I’ve ever gotten on the Blog are when I’ve posted this “sex sells” post & the “paintings of prostitues” post on the Blog haha

  8. Shahid S · · Reply

    HA HA HA HA You’ve made my day!

  9. Wow. What apartment building is this? I might wanna move in there 😉

  10. Anonymous · · Reply

    Hmm, send her over to the States for a few days!

  11. Would you mind if i relate this story with my radio listeners?? it would be a great topic and i would love to see the response of the people..

  12. Sure, Zee. Please don’t use my full name though – Use OUH. Thanks.

  13. zaharanedou · · Reply

    Ok i have to tell you, your story was a hit! i didnt use you name as u had asked me to.. (totally understand) but the response i had on the show was phenominal!!! infact i also had women dying to speak to you .. 🙂 too bad u were unavalible! just though you would like to know the response.. i am trying to put the recording on my blog of the show, once i do i can let you!

  14. Oh wow, that’s really funny! Well, I’m glad it was a hit and that your listeners enjoyed the story! Looking forward to hearing the recording.

  15. hey! I have heard the show and I thought you were awesome. I also saw you at the blue front but I thought it would be odd to come up and talk to you.

    OUH – When I was given the site, I had to comment and let you know that your story made my day! Awesome dude. You should try hooking up and coming on the show, people would love to ask you a ton of questions.

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