Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

What does LinkedIn have to do with nude yoga?

More than you’d expect, actually. I’ll state this right upfront: I love to hate the world’s largest business social network. The random, irrelevant contact requests from so-called “friends”. The dull, tiresomely self-promoting discussion topics. Half the people on it haven’t updated their profiles since the Rinderpest. Oh yes, and then there’s the fact that after having tried to delete my duplicate profile, and receiving a mail from them explaining that they had to delete it themselves outside peak hours because I had too many connections, I see it’s still up there, confusing everybody. (Thanks, LinkedIn, for helping me to look professional.)

But every now and then I do see something interesting there. Take the contact request I received yesterday afternoon. Snap poll: would you accept Candy’s invitation?


My initial assumption was that Candy is a stripper, but it turned out that she is a “personal consultant” who lists her skills as “Social Media Relations”, “Acrobat”, “Flexible”, “Mouthwatering Encounters”, “Discretion” and “Nude Photography”. Oh yes, and “Nude Yoga Classes”. Her summary only hints at what she actually does, but leaves plenty of clues as to the nature of her services:

“I’m a well-educated, brainy and totally open-minded personal consultant. I can do things you won’t believe. I can guarantee you’ll be a lifelong customer.

My specialty is 1 on 1 but i can happily accommodate small groups.

Seclusive reservations via Twitter”

She’s right about the brainy bit, by the way, if she’s not lying about her education, which she lists as St Mary’s Johannesburg and BComm (Honours) at Wits. She’s even taken the trouble to join the B2B Marketing discussion group on LinkedIn, so she’s obviously keen to improve her marketing skills.

Several things intrigue me about this contact request.

Firstly, it’s an indication of LinkedIn’s usefulness as a business networking tool that high class prostitutes are now using it to source clients. They’re professionals like anyone else, and it’s good to see them incorporating social into their marketing strategies.

Secondly, I have to wonder whether she’s genuine. St Mary’s? Wits? Hmm.

And thirdly – why me? Is there something about my profile that says “Potentially keen on threesomes”? “Interested in birdwatching and nude yoga”? I’d understand this invitation if the profile picture I use on LinkedIn was the same as the one I use here – posing with a large wooden chicken could give some people the wrong idea – but there I was going for “professional and trustworthy but reasonably nice”.

In order to clear up the mystery, I have accepted her invitation (becoming her 7th contact) and sent her a message reading: “Are you for real?”

I will let you know what she says.

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