In November 2006, we ran a story by L. D. Kirshenbaum, who rode in squad cars with and wrote about Mike Magan, a stellar Seattle Police detective, and his comrades, who were about to undergo “involuntary transfer” from the detective units. A year and a half later, Magan’s robbery squad is still intact. In this business, we don’t often know if what we do has any effect in the wider world, and we rarely know for sure what the impact is, but the word from the cop shop is that the story helped persuade the department to keep Magan’s team together. We’re proud to say the regional Society of Professional Journalists awarded the piece first place for general news reporting last year.

This month, Kirshenbaum delves into the demimonde of prostitution, exploring the intersections of law, sex, and commerce—on the street, in massage parlors, and on the Internet. In our tech-friendly city, we might expect to find the sex trade migrating to the Web. But the extent to which the world’s oldest profession has its own blogs and social-networking sites where customers and sex workers share their interests comes as no small surprise. For Kirshenbaum, an even bigger revelation was how much sex workers are motivated by getting and spending: “The money comes in so fast that it seems limitless, and they are constantly treating themselves to extravagances, whether they are street prostitutes who want an extra drug high or high-priced escorts who turn a trick or two and go buy a designer handbag.”

The fact of the matter is, we all enjoy the occasional extravagance. For those who get an added thrill from finding the best possible deal, we’ve compiled a comprehensive bargain hunter’s guide to the city. We catalog steals, discounts, and sales all over town so you can find the best values in home decor, outdoor equipment, fashion, and going out on the town. Never let it be said we don’t have our readers’ best interests in mind. For $4.99, you can read this magazine and save $89,457.23.

Katherine Koberg

[email protected]

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