George McCoy. Yes, I'll say it again for those who think they may have misread what I have written: "GEORGE McCOY!!!"
For those who have been around for years, no name is as likely to incite annoyance, anger and loathing than that of George McCoy (unless you're Galahad, ex-owner of PunterNet, in which case, Harriet Harman probably has the same effect). If you have never heard of him, George is a veritable legend of the punting world - not because of whom he shagged, but because of what he has written. In brief, he was the creator, and initial author, of McCoy's Guide to Adult Services, a series of guidebooks providing details of escorts and massage parlours across the country.
When they first appeared, these books were revolutionary, rather like the Michelin Guide was for restaurants or CAMRA's Good Beer Guide was to pubs. Although the idea of cataloguing escort reviews wasn't new, being centuries old, what made his concept different was that the guides were frequently updated, and not only had brief basic information and photos, but also went further by highlighting which ladies and parlours were worth visiting. As seen in the screenshots below, the information was concise but useful, whether it be for the general city guides or the more specific sections dealing with each parlour (although the use of masquerade masks to protect the privacy of the ladies dates them considerably).
Interestingly, the cover price for this particular issue was £10 in 2002, so once we account for inflation, the current price would be £18. Putting that into context, it is cheaper than the £25 you have to pay (in Bitcoin) to access similar info from a popular UK Punting review site. Given said forum members always whinge about escort rates, I do have to wonder if they have cottoned on that they are being taken for a mug in paying more than punters of old would pay for similar information?
The reason I say George McCoy arouses such visceral emotions is largely down to the manner in which he created and ran his guidebooks. Whether you were a client, escort or business owner, old flatcap was like Marmite, as each individual either liked him or hated him. In brief:
- To clients, it depended on whether or not they were already members of the nascent punting boards in the early noughties, like PNet, Preston Punters or C69. If not, his guides were a godsend, giving them all the information they needed in one place. However, to active reviewers, he was a leach, taking the info left in their reviews, and passing it off as his own research for a profit;
- To ladies, he was a source of publicity, although not all of them were keen on appearing in his guide. In the pre-AdultWork world, few escorts had an online presence, except for some with websites of their own or profiles on directories prevailing at the time. With his guide, it was possible for them to reach a wider audience of potential clients across the land, especially if they were ones which had a high rating. The disadvantage of this was that such a rating depended solely on his whims, hence allegations that he would try in a less than subtle way to get his leg over with them in return for an improved rating (although he always inferred that he never penalised those who rejected his "offers");
- Finally, to some parlour owners, he was a git, especially if their places had low ratings, in which case they were never around when he came calling to flog ad space in his books. Conversely, his guide was fantastic to others, particularly if their parlours had 5 stars while their competitors didn't, in which case he'd often be invited by the boss to enjoy meeting one of the staff and experiencing their skills "on the house", which was the sort of hospitality nobody else had. Finally, there were those who never could quite tell whether they liked him or not, such as a well-known Manchester massage parlour of the past. Despite their famous song-and-dance routine about being a George McCoy Free Zone, not only were Sandys happy to be in his guide, but mervert even mentioned it in a prominent space on top of the website. Rather like a marriage of convenience, they then kissed and made up, such that it was clear that they were more than happy to put up with the old fart in return for the publicity, with their banning being worth little more than hot air.
Now, you are probably wondering why I am mentioning all of this. Well, in recent years, I had assumed McCoy's Guides had gone the same way as The Yellow Pages, being replaced by new media channels which had rendered it obsolescent. After all, for ladies, advertising is easy as pie, with social media and sites like AW being cheap and manageable, without the inconvenience of paperbooks. Likewise, for clients, there are loads of ways to report on a date, be it on established boards like UKP and PN, or via the feedback mechanism on AdultWork.
Therefore, I was very surprised recently when I saw several posts from the McCoys account appear on my Twitter timeline with content written in his unique style. With further examination, not only does it seem that the McCoys website is still around, but it appears to be flourishing. While I'm unsure if it is McCoy himself doing the editing or research, given he is old as hell, it appears the guides are not only being updated for the UK, but they are expanding in scope too. If you take a look at his recent tweets, not only does he continue to provide snippets about UK escorts, it looks like he has branched out to do reviews on American escorts too. I know the Yanks have inflicted Donald Trump and Mickey Mouse on the UK, but all I can ask is this - have they really done enough to deserve to have such pain inflicted on them in return?
Anyway, if you've managed to read this far, then well done. If you've ever dealt with old flatcap, let us know on Twitter, as it seems that everyone has a different tale to recount of meeting him, either in a professional or a punting capacity. In other news, we're happy to say that we now have a collection of new photos up on Nadia's profile, which we hope you enjoy.