Need someone to do your spring cleaning? How about hiring a Jockstrap Maid. Yes, that’s right. A Jockstrap Maid.
If you haven’t heard of Jockstrap Maid Service, then check it out. It’s an interesting – albeit risky – business venture. Here’s how it works – guys sign up with the service to provide cleaning and other domestic or personal services (non-sexual). Potential customers looking for domestic help browse their profiles basically like you would a personals ad on any other site. Average prices range around $70-75 dollars per hour for the maid services, and different “maids” provide different services and charge different fees.
When the “maid” shows up, he cleans or performs whatever other duties he was hired for wearing only a jockstrap, like the photo to the left.
It’s definitely interesting from an “adult” standpoint. Heck, I like the idea of kicking back with an iced tea and watching some guy like the one above scrub the floors on his hands and knees. I would even be willing to perform the work; it’s kind of turn on, actually.
That is, of course, the problem. From a purely business standpoint, this type of business has all sorts of potential legal disasters awaiting it. To begin with, if the service is really matching up guys and knows or is reasonably aware that they are having sex with customers, then the service is, essentially, a prostitution business. What happens if a guy ends up being placed in a hostile working environment, or is otherwise harmed by a customer that the business should have known was a threat? In California, at least, the business might be liable to some degree because California recognizes “customer-based” sexual harassment claims against an employer.
However, Hooters managed to escape liability not too long ago, claiming that it was well-known that it had a bawdy, male-dominated working environment, and it was also well-known what kind of employees the company wanted to present to its customers (i.e., big breasted, shapely women). Result – the employees, essentially, “assumed the risk” of any allegedly wrongful behavior they endured.
Examining the company’s website, I noticed that it appears to be structured solely as a web-based “portal” or “hub,” only providing a platform for the customer and “maid” to connect. In this way, the company is similar to the old-school newspaper providing classified ads for massage therapists or “escorts.”
In addition, if you work for the company as a “maid,” it is pretty clear that – at least as far as the company is concerned – you are an independent contractor, not an employee. For some employment law purposes, that might be okay. Others, the answer is less clear. Again, my home state of California comes to mind where laws and rules about employer-employee issues are far stricter than anywhere else, as a general rule.
Finally, look at what happened to Craigslist’s “adult” services when various states’ attorneys general threatened legal action. Craigslist eliminated those services, permanently according to Congressional testimony in late 2010. Of course, Craigslist is a huge operation. Its “adult” services caught the attention of law enforcement officials and others because it is all over the place. I doubt that Jockstrap Maid Service is anywhere close to that scope, so who cares right?
I should state very clearly that I have no idea if any untoward behavior has ever taken place with Jockstrap Maid Service. If they can make a go of this risky idea, more power to them. That’s ingenuity, in my book. There was even a very interesting video done by CNN not long ago, so the company has managed to garner some mainstream press for a rather “un-mainstream” business model.
If you are interested in the company, or even being a maid, you might want to take a few minutes and watch the short video embedded at the bottom of the page. It’s definitely an interesting idea, but always exercise caution when entering into any kind of business relationship, regardless of its nature.